China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) said in July it would build its first production site in Europe in Germany and the plant would supply carmaker BMW with lithium-ion batteries.
BMW plans to source 4 billion euros of battery cells from CATL over the next few years, with 1.5 billion euros coming from the new site in Erfurt in eastern Germany.
The CATL factory will create about 600 jobs and reach a production capacity of 14 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2022. CATL had shipments of 12 GWh in 2017.
Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD is one of the world’s biggest battery producers with the lowest production costs, according to Bernstein Research.
BYD is considering cell production in Europe, an executive told Reuters earlier this year, adding it was not clear where it might be located. The company has two production sites for electric buses in Europe, in Hungary and France.
South Korea’s LG Chem plans to produce 100,000 EV batteries per year at its new Polish factory near the western city of Wroclaw, 190 km (120 miles) from the German border.
The LG Chem plant supplies batteries to German carmakers Audi, Porsche and Daimler. It has also secured a contract to supply batteries for Germany’s Volkswagen starting in late 2019.
The factory’s planned output of 100,000 battery cells is equivalent to roughly 4 GWh per year which means the plant’s capacity is just a fraction of expected future demand in Europe.
Chinese investment firm GSR Capital last year bought Nissan Motor Co’s electric vehicle battery business – Automotive Energy Supply Corp – including battery plants in Japan, the U.S. state of Tennessee and England.
The UK plant produces 2 GWh of lithium ion batteries per year for Nissan electric vehicles.
Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa Corp said in January it would set up a factory in Hungary that would assemble lithium ion batteries and would consider producing cells on the site in the future.
South Korea’s Samsung SDI Co started production at a new factory near Budapest this year that is expected to produce batteries for 50,000 electric vehicles a year.
Samsung SDI, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , also produces rechargeable batteries for electronic devices such as smartphones and energy storage systems.
Samsung SDI, which already has a plant in Austria assembling battery packs, has supplied batteries to Volkswagen and BMW.
South Korea’s SK Innovation plans to break ground this year on a battery plant in Hungary and launch production from 2020, producing 7.5 GWh of batteries per year.
SK Innovation started as Korea Oil Corporation and owns South Korea’s largest crude oil refiner. It also has divisions for chemicals, lubricants, batteries and electronic materials.