Chinese battery maker Svolt halts plans for 2nd Europe gigafactory

The Chinese battery maker Svolt has said it will abandon plans to build a second battery cell plant in Europe, citing the volatile EV market as well as the cancellation of a “significant” customer project.

Svolt, a subsidiary of Great Wall Motors, also said in a statement this week that it “wasn’t possible to predict” when the company’s primary battery cell manufacturing facility in Überherrn in Germany’s Saarland region would be ready amid planning issues.

Last year the company said the facility would be delayed until 2027 due in part to local protests. The second factory had been planned for near Berlin.

The company also said it will open a battery module and pack assembly plant in Heusweiler, also in the Saarland, in July.

The canceled plant in Lauchhammer, Germany, was to be built on the site of a former wind turbine plant that Svolt acquired in 2022. Pilot production would start from 2025, Svolt had said.

Svolt did not say which customer project was cancelled, but the German public broadcaster SR Fernsehen has reported it was BMW.

“The automotive market is currently struggling with considerable fluctuations and challenges all over the world, mainly driven by the transformation to electric mobility,” Kai-Uwe Wollenhaupt, president of Svolt in Europe, said in the statement. “This is leading to some drastic strategy adjustments for some car manufacturers.”

Previous articleChina to invest $845 million on ramping up its advanced EV battery ambitions