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VW invested Chinese battery maker opens European factory

By XING YI in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-18 00:57

Guests tour Gotion High-Tech's battery factory in Gottingen, Germany on Saturday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Gotion High-Tech, a Chinese battery maker, opened its first European assembly line on Saturday, in Gottingen, Germany, where it hopes to make inroads into the continent's huge demand for electric vehicles.

The company's executives, officials from China's Anhui province, where the company's headquarters is located, and the governor of Germany's Lower Saxony region were among guests who witnessed the first battery produced at the factory.

The plant, which used to be an auto parts factory run by Bosch, was acquired by Gotion High-Tech in 2021, and converted into a battery factory. It is expected to deliver batteries for electric cars and energy storage systems for Gotion High-Tech's clients in Europe starting in October.

Stephan Weil, governor of Lower Saxony, said he appreciated Gotion High-Tech's investment in the region, which is the major automotive industrial hub in Germany, and added that battery products have good prospects in the coming decades, as more people start driving electric vehicles.

The company said it has already received large orders from Europe and the factory will produce at a capacity of 5 gigawatt-hours in 2024. With a designed output capacity of 20 GWh per year, the factory will expand its production lines in four phases.

Michael Schumann, chairman of the German Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade, said: "In order to achieve the climate protection targets in the transport sector, at least 15 million fully electric cars must be on German roads by 2030...

"The new suppliers from China will stimulate the market and help e-mobility gain faster and broader acceptance in Germany. And that applies just as much to the charging infrastructure as to the battery technology."

Gotion High-Tech also signed cooperation agreements with five companies on Saturday, including for research and development of battery materials with German company BASF, to do with factory automation with Swiss company ABB, and for an energy storage system, with Ebusco, from the Netherlands.

Earlier this month, the company, which is traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange with the biggest shareholder being Volkswagen, bought a 25 percent stake in Inobat, a Slovak startup battery maker.

Li Zhen, chairman of Gotion High-Tech, said on Saturday: "We hope to work with our European partners to promote the development of EV and new energy industries, and contribute to a successful global energy transformation."

(From left) Stephan Weil, governor of Lower Saxony, Han Jun, Party chief of Anhui province, and Li Zhen, chairman of Gotion High-Tech, pose for a group photo with workers of the company's Gottingen factory on Saturday. [Photo provided to China Daily]


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