The battery cell manufacturer SVOLT Energy Technology, which emerged from the Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall, plans to build global production capacities totalling 100 GWh by 2025 and is also planning a factory in Europe.
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For the construction of the European plant, the exact location still has to be determined, but development is scheduled to start in the second half of 2020 and be completed in 2022. General Manager Yang Hongxin told the news agency that it would deliver an output of 20 GWh at launch. A research centre is also planned at the same location.
The plant’s first customer will probably be Great Wall Motor itself, but SVOLT is also in talks with “German and French car manufacturers”. The investment will amount to around two billion euros, Yang said. Part of it – about one billion yuan or 145 million dollars – is to be collected this year in the USA as part of a financing round.
Further details are not yet available. SVOLT Energy Technology is currently building its first production facility in Changzhou, China, which will initially be designed for 12 GWh per year – later it is planned to be able to produce around 70 GWh. According to Yang, a total of five production sites are planned worldwide, including the USA.
The company, which was spun off from Great Wall in 2018, is also working on cobalt-free lithium-ion batteries. Good progress is being made in replacing the expensive and increasingly scarce mineral.
Update 14 September 2019: With SVOLT presenting its new “stacked” prismatic cells at the IAA, the company also delivered an update on its planned European facility. As part of the global plans to establish seven production bases worldwide, the European facility will see two-billion euro investment. The aim is to build a 24GWh battery factory and a 40,000-ton cathode material factory and supply chain in the European market. Only the timeline has shifted from the information stated above as the “four-phase project is expected to complete its first-round of construction and enter operation by early 2023,” according to SVOLT. Also, the initial production capacity is now given as 6GWh, rather than the initially envisioned 20 GWh.
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