Chinese Battery Giant CATL Starts Hungarian Factory Project

CATL, a leading Chinese power battery manufacturer, signed a pre-purchase agreement in Debrecen, eastern Hungary, on September 5, marking the official start of CATL’s Hungarian factory project.

According to the plan, CATL’s Hungarian factory is located in the southern industrial park of Debrecen, covering an area of 221 hectares, and the first factory will start construction within this year. The investment of the project is 7.34 billion euros ($7.26 billion) with a planned battery capacity is 100GWh and a construction period of no more than 64 months.

Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said at the signing ceremony for the site that this investment in CATL was one of the five “Greenfield investments” in Europe in the past 10 years and the largest one in Hungary’s history. CATL’s investment in Hungary will create 9,000 new jobs directly in Debrecen.

CATL said that with the rapid development of the European new energy industry and the battery market is growing continuously. The company’s plans to build a new energy battery base in Hungary is part of the company’s global strategic layout and will help promote its business development overseas.

After the completion of the project, the factory will supply BMW, Volkswagen and Stellantis, while Mercedes-Benz will work with CATL in the construction. Once the Hungarian factory is successfully completed, it will become the second overseas production base of the firm. At present, CATL has only one overseas factory in Germany, which started construction in October 2019 with a planned production capacity of 14GWh. At present, the factory has obtained the production license of 8GWh battery cells, and the first batch of battery cells will be completed before the end of 2022.

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CATL is accelerating the expansion of its business in European countries. Since 2019, CATL has become the supplier of Daimler Truck AG, commercial vehicle brand Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus (VWCO) operating in South America, Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul truck, VDL Bus&Coach, Trailer Dynamics and other commercial vehicle makers, and the battery systems delivered are all based on CTP (cell-to-pack) technology.

In May this year, CATL reached a deal with Solaris, a leading European electric bus company, to provide lithium iron phosphate batteries using CTP technology for bus products.