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Hungary Sets Course to Become EV Battery Powerhouse

Hungary plans $2 billion worth of infrastructure investment in its second-biggest city as the country looks to become a top manufacturing hub for EV batteries and vehicles in Europe.   

Hungary will invest 700 billion Hungarian forints, or around $2 billion, to improve road and transport infrastructure and water and waste management in and near Debrecen, the country’s second-largest city after the capital city Budapest, Hungarian Construction Minister Janos Lazar said at a press briefing on Tuesday, as carried by Bloomberg

The infrastructure investments would be on top of the direct subsidies to companies with plants in the region, including BMW and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), the Hungarian minister added. 

In 2022, CATL said it would invest $8.1 billion (7.34 billion euros) to build a 100 GWh battery plant in Debrecen, which is CATL’s second battery plant in Europe after a manufacturing facility in Germany. CATL’s project was planned to supply both cells and modules to European automakers. 

BMW Group, for its part, announced in 2022 that it is building a high-voltage battery assembly for the vehicles of the NEUE KLASSE at its Debrecen site in Hungary.

BMW expects to create more than 500 additional jobs and invest more than $2.2 billion (2 billion euros) in the construction and launch of the entire plant by the end of 2025.  

Hungary is also attracting EV manufacturers from outside the EU. 

China’s top electric vehicle maker BYD said last month it would build its first European production factory in Hungary. The plant will be built near the southern city of Szeged, and is expected to create thousands of jobs, according to Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó

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The plant “will be one of the largest investments in Hungarian economic history,” the minister said, noting that the Hungarian government would provide financial incentives to BYD for building the plant. 

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com



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