Sunwoda to build battery plant in Hungary
In Europe, the Chinese battery cell manufacturer Sunwoda plans to build a factory for electric vehicle batteries in Hungary. According to the company’s stock exchange announcement, Sunwoda plans to invest the equivalent of around 250 million euros in the plant.
The Hungarian investment promotion agency HIPA has confirmed the location of the Sunwoda plant in Hungary, revealing the factory will be built in Nyíregyháza in northeastern Hungary. The plant should be operational by the end of 2025.
Nothing has been made public about the planned production capacity as yet, but a report from the Chinese publication cnevpost revealed Sundwoda will raise about one-third of the sum from its own funds. The rounded sum of 660 million yuan or 84 million euros is mentioned, while 1.3 billion yuan (166 million euros) are to be covered by a bank loan. These sums include the purchase of the land, the construction and the procurement of the equipment.
So far, the details of intended customers for battery cells from the Hungary plant have not been revealed, with Sunwoda merely saying it wants to better serve international customers and expand its foreign business. Sunwoda’s activities in Europe are expected to help increase the company’s global market share and are “important for promoting the company’s long-term stable development,” according the company’s stock exchange statement.
Should Sunwoda actually settle in Nyíregyháza, the cell manufacturer would join a growing list of Chinese battery companies investing there, with numerous battery and vehicle manufacturers setting up shop in the country. CATL and Eve Energy, for example, are building large battery cell factories in Debrecen. Huayou Cobalt will build its first European factory in Hungary to produce cathode material for electric vehicle batteries. And BYD also plans to build a battery assembly plant in Hungary.
Electric vehicle industry players from other countries are also investing in Hungary. BMW is building its first electric car plant for its New Class vehicles, including battery assembly, in Debrecen. South Korean battery material manufacturer EcoPro BM started building a factory in Debrecen at the end of April. Mercedes and Audi have had vehicle or component plants in Hungary for some time; Mercedes already builds the EQB there, Audi the e-motors for the Q8 e-tron built in Brussels, and in the future, the powertrains for the PPE electric cars and the MEB small cars built in Spain.
Sundwoda is one of the lesser-known battery companies in Europe, but in China, Dacia relies on Sunwoda cells in the Spring electric car built there. Within China, Sunwoda customers include VW’s new partners Xpeng, Mercedes and GAC.