Chinese battery maker CATL [300750:CH] will spend up to EUR7.3bn (USD7.6bn) to launch a 100-gigawatt-hour (GWh) power battery factory in Hungary, as reported by Reuters on August 12. The project’s construction is scheduled to take no more than 64 months, with the first plant set to begin in 2022 after necessary approvals are obtained. As demand for electric vehicles (EVs) grows in Europe, CATL’s new factory would be the largest battery cell plant in Europe, selling battery cells and modules to automakers such as Mercedes-Benz [DAI:GR], BMW [BMW:GR], Stellantis [STLA:FP], and Volkswagen [VOW:GR].
CATL ranked first in global installed capacity of power batteries for five consecutive years from 2017 to 2021, according to SNE Research, with a 32.6% market share in 2021. The Hungarian battery facility will be CATL’s largest foreign project investment to date. CATL has been accelerating its own international expansion since 2022. On April 4, its first foreign facility, in Thuringia, Germany, was formally approved with a total investment of EUR1.8bn (USD1.82bn) and a capacity of 14 GWh. The facility is also Germany’s first battery factory. CATL announced on April 15 that its subsidiary intends to construct power battery industrial chain projects in Indonesia with a total investment of no more than USD5.97bn.