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Hungary in Race to Host Another Major EV Battery Investment



Chinese EV battery maker Ningbo Zhenyu Technology is set to open a battery parts factory in eastern Hungary, local media cited reports from MarketLine and InvestmentMonitor.

The factory will manufacture precision structural parts used in electric car batteries and will enable the company to better serve its European customers. The new site is expected to be operational by the end of 2027.

After the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a statement saying that the decision on the location of the plant has not been finialised. A number of European countries and municipalities within Hungary are competing to attract the investment, the ministry added.

The government has recently earmarked HUF112bn (€290mn) in funding for infrastructural developments at industrial parks in Debrecen, the possible site of the investment. 

Hungary’s second-largest city close to the Romanian border has become a hub for vehicle production and has been the prime target of EV-related investments.

It hosts operations by automotive companies such as Continental, National Instruments, IT Services Hungary and BT and a string of new investments are in the pipeline. BMW laid the foundation stone of a €1bn factory, where the premium carmaker will produce zero-emission cars from 2025, a year ago.

South Korea’s EcoPro is building a HUF280bn cathode plant in Debrecen, in eastern Hungary, its first plant outside South Korea on April 21.

The world’s leading battery maker CATL is setting up a 100 GWh plant in the local industrial park on 221 hectares. The €7.3bn project is the largest greenfield investment in Hungary and the fifth-largest project in value in Europe in the past ten years.

Just last week, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto announced that Sunwoda, the world’s leading lithium-ion battery producer, will build its first European plant in Nyiregyhaza, northern Hungary. The €1.53bn project is the largest investment in Hungary in 2023 and the third which exceeds the €1bn value.

With Sunwoda’s entrance to Hungary, five out of the world’s top ten electric battery manufacturers, with a combined 49.4% share of the global market, will be present in Hungary, according to Szijjarto.

The government’s strategy is to make the country a global EV battery powerhouse. After the completion of new investments, Hungary will be the second-largest EV battery manufacturer globally.

The strategy has drawn criticism from locals and environmentalists. Critics point out that Hungary has no competitive advantage in battery production other than generous state subsidies. The country lacks cheap, renewable electricity, water, raw materials and a labour pool to meet the demands of new industrial establishments.

Source : BNE Intellinews

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