China's electric vehicle battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) said it is increasing its planned investment in R&D and production facilities in Europe to EUR1.8bn, according to reports in China.
This is a major increase on the company's stated plans last year to invest EUR240m in production facilities in Europe, which provided for a production capacity of 14 gigawatt-hours (GWH) by 2022.
With the increased investment, CATL plans to establish a centre for product research, development and testing, as well as construction of lithium-ion battery production facilities in the German state of Thuringia. The investment is expected to take at least 5 years on a 70 hectare site.
Local analysts in China noted that demand for new-energy vehicles (electric and hybrid) in Europe has grown rapidly in recent years, while the battery industry has lagged far behind. Data from Bloomberg shows EU production capacity for electric/hybrid vehicles amounts to just 4% of the global total, according to reports in China.
Its European investment will help CATL better serve its clients in the region. The company, reputed to be the largest manufacturer of new-energy vehicle batteries worldwide, also has operations in the USA, Canada and Japan.
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