Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion High Tech and Slovak battery startup Inobat have announced their plans to jointly build an electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in Europe by 2026. The factory will have an initial output of 20 gigawatt hours (GWh) and construction is set to begin in 2024.
The partnership between Gotion and Inobat was established two weeks ago when Gotion acquired a 25% stake in Inobat. Gotion, which is backed by Volkswagen, has an exclusive contract with the automaker to supply EV batteries outside of China.
In a statement, Inobat CEO Marian Bocek revealed that the companies are currently finalizing a location for the factory, considering several European countries as potential options. Once the factory is operational in 2026, the output can be gradually increased.
Europe has been striving to develop its own EV battery industry in order to reduce its reliance on Asian battery manufacturers. However, with funding for startups drying up due to high interest rates and economic uncertainty, only a few companies have been able to attract continued investment.
This news follows recent developments in the European EV battery industry. Swedish lithium-ion battery producer Northvolt recently raised $1.2 billion from investors, and French battery startup Verkor secured over €2 billion in funding to build a gigafactory in Dunkirk.
Inobat, which already has a pilot battery production line in Slovakia, has also signed declarations of intent with the governments of Spain and Serbia to establish EV battery plants.