Webasto receives major EIB loan for battery development
The automotive supplier Webasto receives a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the development of batteries for electric vehicles. The ‘Green Loan’ comprises 100 million euros and is intended to help create financial leeway to implement the business strategy.
As is well known, this business strategy envisages an ever-increasing share of solutions for electromobility. The Munich-based company’s turnover in this area doubled to 155 million euros in 2021 compared to the previous year. With an upward trend in the current year, because in the battery sector alone the company has recorded several large-volume orders in recent months. In Q1 2022, incoming orders in the e-mobility segment therefore exceeded those of the established core business with roofs and heating and cooling solutions for the first time. And: Webasto is also positioning itself in the emerging market for commercial vehicle batteries. The battery packs are manufactured at the German site in Schierling, among others.
Webasto wants to use the EIB’s “Green Loan” to deepen research and development in the field of battery systems. In return, the supplier from the south of Germany must continuously demonstrate that the financing contributes to saving CO2, improving security of supply and combating climate change. Webasto describes the loan as an important building block in its financing strategy, which also includes a recently completed full refinancing of existing credit lines and further diversification of financing instruments.
It was only in September that we at electrive.net received exclusive information on Webasto’s competence development in the field of battery production. With Robert Gantner, Webasto’s Director of Global Battery Business was one of the speakers at our sister publication’s online conference electrive.net LIVE focusing on electric car batteries. In his presentation, Gantner discussed the fact that his company is currently landing orders from Asia – the battery region par excellence. Webasto is currently building a factory in Korea for Hyundai-Kia. During the conference, Gantner also revealed that Webasto has won a follow-up order and will therefore expand the factory in Dangjin immediately. In addition, the Munich-based company will also build batteries for a German carmaker in Slovakia from 2024.
According to Gantner, the orders in South Korea and Slovakia have completely different dimensions than the previous vehicle battery projects, for example at the German production facility in Schierling. Since 2019, they have acquired the experience to now scale up production at other global locations there, says the Webasto manager. The Munich-based company is staying true to its strategy of buying in the cells and concentrating on the other components and their interaction.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.