The Slovakian group InoBat and the US energy technology company Wildcat Discovery Technologies plan to build a production line for electric car batteries in Slovakia. Construction of the 100-MWh line is scheduled to start in 2020.
The line will have a capacity for 1,500 electric car batteries a year and sales are scheduled to start at the end of 2021. The long-term plan is to expand to 10 GWh, boosting capacity to 150,000 power packs.
The plans rest on demand from the European car industry and Wildcat Discovery, and InoBat are ready to invest 100 million euros. They say they are also in talks with the European Investment Bank (EIB). The idea is not new. Inobat had planned a pan-European battery excellence centre based in Slovakia for some time. The company was founded in 2018 to work in the fields of electromobility, energy storage and hydrogen in Central and Eastern Europe involving the automotive, petrochemical and energy sectors.
The cooperation will allow InoBat to rely on Wildcat’s technology that combines high throughput experimentation (HTP) and artificial intelligence. Wlidcat has worked with clients such as Toyota and Samsung Electronics.
The electric car battery production will be the first of its kind in Slovakia. However, French car manufacturer PSA intends to assemble the battery packs for electric and hybrid cars of its brands at its Slovakia plant (Trnava) reportedly. Also in other eastern European countries, the sector is striving. South Korean battery maker LG Chem has already set up a production base in Poland. SK Innovation is due to launch in Hungary, where Samsung SDI can be found as well.