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Chinese battery maker Svolt to build plants in Germany

By Li Fusheng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-11-18 16:35
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A file photo shows the battery products of the Chinese battery maker Svolt Energy Technology. [Photo/Official website of SVOLT]

Chinese battery maker Svolt Energy Technology is planning to spend 2 billion euros ($2.37 billion) to build two plants in Germany to explore the fast-growing electric vehicle market in Europe.

Svolt, a spin-off from China's Great Wall Motors, said it will build a module and pack factory as well as a cell factory with a 24 GWh production capacity in Saarland in the west of the country.

The cell factory will be able to produce batteries for 300,000 to 500,000 vehicles a year, Svolt said in a statement.

The two plants are expected to start operation from mid-2022 and late 2023, respectively, employing roughly 2,000 people.

Yang Hongxin, president of Svolt, said: "For Svolt as a global high-tech company for electromobility, the European automotive industry and the growing market for renewable energies are of great strategic importance."

Demand for electric vehicles is growing fast in Europe. Statistics show that over 400,000 new energy vehicles were sold in the first half of 2020, overtaking China as the largest market for such vehicles.

Tobias Hans, prime minister of the state of Saarland in Germany, said: "The car is one of the central pillars of Saarland as an industrial location.

"We want to be at the forefront of the structural change in the automotive industry and develop our federal state into a cluster for innovation in Europe, especially in and for the automotive industry."

Svolt opened the first of the four planned cell factories in China in November 2019. The battery maker plans to establish a combined production capacity of 100 GWh worldwide by 2025.

Svolt currently employs around half of its 3,000 worldwide employees in the area of research and development alone and registered over 550 patents in 2019.

It is the first company to bring cobalt-free high nickel cell chemistry to mass production readiness. Svolt also employs a research and development team working in the area of solid-state batteries.

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