VW to decide on eastern European battery plant in first half of 2022

PRAGUE — Volkswagen Group will decide next year on the location for a planned battery cell plant in eastern Europe, the automaker said.

VW earlier this year outlined plans to build six battery cell factories across Europe by 2030 with a total annual production capacity of 240 gigawatt hours to secure supply for its electric vehicle push.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary are in the running for one of the plants — to be opened in 2027.

VW said its planned to decide on a location for the plant in the first half of next year. The automaker said it had not delayed the decision after Czech Industry Minister Karel Havlicek said on Monday that his government had expected a decision by the end of the year.

“As you know, what has to be taken into account for this decision are the country’s respective conditions, the economic environment, the e-mobility strategy and the subsidy framework,” a VW spokesperson said.

VW Group CEO Herbert Diess and Thomas Schmall, the automaker’s technology chief, visited the Czech Republic on Monday for an exchange with the group’s Skoda unit as well as on the country’s electrification strategy.

Skoda CEO Thomas Schaefer has said the Czech Republic, the brand’s home country, would be an ideal location for “at least one” of the battery cell factories.

VW’s Seat unit has also made a strong pitch for a battery cell plant to be built near its factory in Martorell, Spain.

VW has already picked Germany and Sweden for the first two battery cell factories. The third will be in France, Spain or Portugal and would open by 2026, Schmall said during VW’s Power Day in March.

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