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Two other Chinese EV battery makers heading for Hungary, says Szijjarto

Hungary has reached an agreement with two other top 10 Chinese battery manufacturers to invest in the country; the companies in question will make an announcement soon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China, over the weekend.

China’s fifth-largest EV battery maker, ranked 9th globally, Sunwoda, has registered its Hungarian subsidiary by the name of Sunwoda Automotive Energy Technology, headquartered in  central Budapest, according to local media. The company has a number of manufacturing facilities in China, India, France, Germany, the USA and Israel.

The name of the other Chinese investor remains unknown.

Chinese battery manufacturers will invest €3bn this year, which will mean another record FDI after 2022, he added.

CATL and EVE Energy have already announced plans to open EV battery factories in Hungary, and more projects are in the pipeline as Budapest is seeking to become a global hub for EV battery production. 

CATL, the world’s leading battery maker is building a 100 GWh plant in the eastern Hungarian  city of Debrecen from a €7.34bn investment, one of the largest greenfield investments in Europe.

Debrecen will also be the home of a €1bn battery plant by China’s Eve Power, the ninth-biggest battery maker in the world. The company signed a non-binding letter of intent with the local municipality to acquire 45 hectares in an industrial area last year. The company will supply batteries  to BMW, which is building a €1bn electric car plant also in Debrecen, near the Romanian border.

Hungary ranks fourth globally in electric vehicle battery production, and with the completion of these investments, the country will be ranked second, Szijjarto said after the World Power Battery Conference held in June.  Electric vehicle batteries have become Hungary’s number one export product over the past 1-1.5 years, he noted.

According to Hungary’s top diplomat, Chinese investors are choosing Hungary because of the presence of German car manufacturers. Hungary is one of three countries in the world, besides China  and Germany, to host the factories of the three premium German car-making companies (Mercedes, BMW, Audi), according to Szijjarto.

He predicted that efforts by Europe to decouple or derisk from China would be an act of economic suicide.  Annual bilateral trade between the EU and China was over €865bn.

“While the German foreign minister is talking about breaking ties, I get regular calls from German carmakers to convince Chinese suppliers to come to Hungary,” he added.

Source : bne INTELLINEWS