Slovakian battery company InoBat Auto has signed letters of intent with the government of Serbia to build an electric vehicle battery cell factory in the country with an annual capacity of up to 32 GWh. InoBat had recently made a similar move with Spain.
The factory in Serbia is expected to be operational in 2025 with an initial annual capacity of 4 GWh, according to Reuters news agency. The Serbian government has promised InoBat up to €419 million in subsidies in the form of grants and tax incentives, the report adds. While the agreement is not yet final, it is close to completion, Reuters reported, citing an insider.
The suspected factory in Serbia is planned in addition to the announced production facility in Western Europe. For the latter, InoBat had recently signed a letter of intent with Spanish authorities to build the factory in Valladolid, but explicitly stressed that other locations would continue to be considered. InoBat Auto plans to make a final decision on the location of its battery factory in Western Europe later this year.
In its own announcement on the project in Serbia, InoBat confirms the government’s letters of intent and pledges of support, but does not give any concrete figures on plant size, investment and schedule. A cooperation with the International Finance Corporation is also mentioned: “for the establishment of a new factory for electric car batteries in Central and Southeastern Europe.” This is another indication that InoBat is planning to have several plants in Europe.
So far, two factories are already set in Slovakia: the first is a pilot plant (Reuters now writes of 45 MWh, although previously there had been mention of 100 MWh) and the second is a production facility announced in 2020 with 10 GWh. In the summer, the Slovakian company had also announced that they wanted to examine battery assembly and cell production in the USA. Together with US company Ideanomics, which specializes in electric utility vehicles, InoBat says it is planning a three-stage project to develop and produce batteries in the US state of Indiana.
Marian Bocek, CEO of InoBat, commented on the plans as follows: “Our pilot facility in Slovakia is near completion, and we have lined up the development of a new facility in the US and recently signed declarations of intent for the construction of a facility in Spain. I look forward to working alongside the Republic of Serbia as we progress towards a greener more sustainable future.”
InoBat’s business model is based on rapidly developing customized battery solutions for customer vehicles. This is currently being done on the basis of the company’s first generation of battery cells. This is an NCM622 pouch cell. Compared with a benchmark cell from Asia, this is said to be able to charge from five to 80 per cent 25 per cent faster, have a 20 per cent longer service life and offer 28 per cent better capacity retention at -20 degrees Celsius.
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