Poland overtakes US to have world’s second largest lithium-ion battery production capacity

After a series of investments in lithium-ion battery manufacturing, Poland’s production capacity rose to 73 GWh in 2022, overtaking the US to become the second largest in the world, behind only China.

Poland now has 6% of the world’s total production capacity, compared to 14% of all European countries combined, notes the Polish Alternative Fuels Association (PSPA) in a report published this week based on data from BloombergNEF. They are, however, well behind China, which has 77% of global capacity.

However, the PSPA warns that, with fierce competition in the sector, Poland is set to fall to sixth place in global manufacturing by 2027 as other countries invest in producing the rechargeable lithium-ion battery that power electric vehicles.

Recent years have shown, nevertheless, that the sector’s growth in Poland is robust. The value of exports in the battery sector increased 38-fold over the last six years from around 1 billion zloty (€0.21 billion) in 2017 to 38.6 billion zloty (€8.24 billion) in 2022.

That meant it accounted for 2.4% of all Polish exports, according to data from Statistics Poland (GUS), a state agency.

This growth has been achieved thanks to the major investments by foreign companies that have decided to open factories focused on batteries or electromobility in Poland.

Poland is currently home to the largest car battery factory in Europe, launched by LG Energy Solution in Biskupice Podgórne near Wrocław, and Europe’s largest factory for energy storage systems, launched by Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt in Gdańsk.

Other leading companies in the battery sector investing in Poland include Korean SK Nexilis and German Mercedes-Benz. Poland is also Europe’s largest exporter of electric buses.

As well as manufacturing sites, companies have started to open technology centres in Poland focused on developing electromobility, with Swedish car manufacturer Volvo announcing a new technology hub in Kraków last month.

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