Czech car maker Škoda Auto teamed up with leading universities to conduct research projects on the life cycle of batteries and boost domestic expertise in batteries. Vice-President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič welcomed the initiative as a clear demonstration of Czechia’s drive to succeed in the fast-growing battery sector after meeting the representatives of the stakeholders.
The Czech Republic is one of the applicants for the construction of a new factory for the production of batteries for the Volkswagen concern, which also includes Škoda Auto.
The Volkswagen Group has previously said that the fourth of its planned six European battery factories will be located in either Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, or the Czech Republic. The final decision is expected to come in 2023.
Škoda Auto invested 130 million euros in establishing the only production facility for MEB battery systems in Europe outside Germany. The company aims to produce E-components or E-vehicles at all three Czech plants by 2030.
Czechia is home to Europe’s largest lithium resource and the country has the potential to become among the lowest-cost hard rock lithium producers in the world. Last summer, the government signed a memorandum of understanding with utility group ČEZ on the preparation of a project for a gigafactory, with an annual production capacity of 40 gigawatts-hour (GWh). ČEZ is preparing a lithium mining project at Cínovec, which could be used in a battery cell factory in the country.
Vice-President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčoviče said he was glad that Central Europe is becoming a vibrant part of the battery boom and underlined the importance of strengthening the EU’s resilience in the field of batteries and critical raw materials.
He pointed out that with 130 billion euros allocated in investment along the entire value chain, Europe has become a global battery hotspot, set to produce enough batteries for 11 million cars annually by 2030, which would make Europe the world’s number two player.
The European Battery Alliance promotes over a hundred industrial projects across the EU, including some 20 Gigafactories.