Gotion High Tech has begun production at its first overseas plant, in Goettingen, Germany, to tap into the region’s fast growing EV industry.

The company, China’s fourth largest EV battery manufacturer, said it had launched the first phase of operations as part of a staged production ramp up over the next few years.

Annual production capacity was expected to reach 5GWh by mid-2024, rising to 20GWh when all investments were completed later in the decade.

The plant, acquired from Bosch in 2021, will produce battery packs for EVs and also for stationary energy storage systems (ESS).

Gotion, which specialises in lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries, said it had received “a large number of orders” ahead of the productio start, putting it on course to achieve its global ambitions.

Volkswagen is Gotion’s largest shareholder with a 26.5% stake at the end of 2021. It was also expected to be the main customer with battery deliveries scheduled to start in October.

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The Hefei-based company also has partnerships with BASF, ABB, Ebusco, Ficosa and Idneo in Europe, covering battery materials, manufacturing and product development, plus the supply of cell and battery pack supply.

Gotion Global VP Ray Chen said: “Our production line has an overall automation level of nearly 70% and close to 80% in the module assembly stage.”

The company recently announced plans to build two more plants in Illinois and Michigan while, earlier this year, it was reported to have signed a letter of intent with the Moroccan government to build a large battery cell plant.

The company was aiming for global capacity for 300 GWh annually within a few years.