Slovakia backs EV-battery gigafactory in pursuit of European “tech sovereignty”

A new electric vehicle (EV) battery company has secured €5m from the government of Slovakia to help it start building a 10GWh "gigafactory" in the country.

Bratislava-based InoBat Auto says it wants to support Europe’s bid for "tech sovereignty" in the EV battery market, but notes Europe is around five years behind Asia.

The €5m goes toward the €100m first-phase of the scheme and will get InoBat Auto started on building an R&D centre for the factory.

Total investment could reach €1bn, the company said.

The first 100MWh production line is expected to begin later this year, with the first batteries produced before the end of 2021.

InoBat Auto said the factory could provide 240,000 EVs with "cutting edge" batteries by 2024.

With a population of just under 5.5 million, Slovakia claims to be the world’s biggest per-capita car producer.

More than a million cars rolled out of four major car factories there in 2018.

InoBat Auto said its Gigafactory would "catapult Europe to become a leading global force in the electric vehicle battery industry".

The company is backed by investors including IPM Group and Wildcat Discovery Technologies, a US energy tech firm backed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Green Fund.

Co-founder Marian Bocek said: "InoBat Auto is set to address some of the biggest challenges facing the electric vehicle industry. When our second investment round closes next month, we will be able to apply our state-of-the-art technology to produce batteries that will significantly reduce charging time and enhance battery life for electric vehicles."

Image courtesy of InoBat

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