Europe is territory for chinese technology. At least as far as automotive is concerned. The manufacturers of this country have set their sights on our continent and brands as powerful as NIO or BYD are determined to take part in the European electric car market.
But not only manufacturers have clear intentions to penetrate Europe. Battery manufacturers such as CATL or SVolt are looking for locations to increase their presence in Europe. This last company, among the ten that manufactures the most batteries for electric cars in the world, is looking for a place to expand.
small and scattered
SVolt’s intentions are collected by Bloomberg, who explain that the intention of SVolt is to continue with its expansion on European soil. Currently, the company already has two factories in mind for Germany. One of them will serve Stellantis. But, nevertheless, he wants to continue leading the way.
The company’s plans, unlike those of other brands such as Tesla or Volkswagen, go through small facilities. “We don’t like big factories,” they point out from SVolt to the economic environment. The main reason is the consumption of water, which causes rejection by local populations.
This problem has already been encountered by Tesla in Germany and it is one of the reasons that has been delaying the arrival of a gigafactory in Navalmoral de la Mata, in Extremadura. The idea of SVolt is to have smaller sites that can deliver batteries to European manufacturers. In Bloomberg they point out that they already have very advanced conversations with some of the manufacturers of our continent.
“We could get our locations up and running faster if we had more resources available, like land and skilled workers,” said Kai-Uwe Wollenhaupt, SVolt’s European director for the economic environment.
The fight for batteries
The interest from Chinese companies is not unique to SVolt, the strangest thing is the type of expansion strategy they have put in place. CATLfor example, has long suspected the possibility of having a third plant for the production of batteries on European soil.
It is no coincidence that Chinese companies are beginning to think about a European expansion beyond producing electric cars. Europe has made the decision to opt for the electric car as a viable alternative to the combustion vehicle. If it goes ahead, before 2035 millions of batteries will be needed to power these cars.
At the moment, BYD is already contemplating settling in Spain to produce its own batteries and Volkswagen would be working with Mobis (owned by Hyundai) to carry out a new plant in the north of our country. At the moment, everything is conjecture but it gives an idea of the interest that have companies outside the European industry to settle on the soil of our continent.
In addition, the lack of batteries seems evident. According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, Europe has a major battery shortfall problem. At the moment it is already 66 GWh in the production of batteries for its electric cars but this problem will increase to 270 GWh in 2030. According to the consultancy, Europe will demand 735 GWh in batteries by the end of this decade, 600% more than what current.
And, at the same time, China continues to control the supply chain of the materials that make up the battery. Europe and the United States are making great efforts to become references and powers of this product, but China has achieved a position of power after years working on it.
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Photo | SVolt