Chinese battery maker Gotion taking 25% stake in Slovakia’s Inobat

Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion High Tech is acquiring a 25% stake in Slovak battery firm Inobat, marking the first investment by a Chinese battery maker in a European start-up. The deal is part of the two firms’ ongoing collaboration, announced earlier this year, to explore joint ventures to develop batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage. While the financial details of the transaction remain undisclosed, the partnership is expected to help Inobat speed up its path to mass production of EV batteries.

Through this investment, Gotion will provide Inobat with access to its research and development capabilities, lithium supply chain, cell production, and recycling capabilities. This support will be instrumental in helping the Slovak startup scale up its battery production operations, enabling it to meet the growing demand for EV batteries in Europe. The partnership aligns with Gotion’s broader goal of expanding its production capacity outside China to cater to the increasing demand from EV manufacturers and energy storage providers.

Europe has been making efforts to reduce its reliance on dominant Asian battery manufacturers and establish a self-sufficient EV battery industry. While some companies, like Swedish firm Northvolt, have succeeded in raising substantial investments, others have faced challenges, such as the UK’s Britishvolt, which encountered difficulties earlier this year. Gotion’s partnership with Inobat reflects the ongoing trend of global collaboration in the EV battery sector, as companies seek to secure their positions in a rapidly growing market.

Gotion is a partially-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen, and its investment in Inobat represents a significant step in the global expansion of Chinese battery manufacturers. This move signifies China’s ambition to play a more prominent role in the EV and battery industries on a global scale. Inobat, on the other hand, has signed declarations of intent with the governments of Spain and Serbia to build EV battery plants, although these agreements are still pending finalization. The collaboration between Gotion and Inobat is poised to contribute to the growth of Europe’s EV battery ecosystem as the region continues to transition towards electric mobility.

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