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Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion acquires stake in Slovakia’s Inobat

Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion High Tech has acquired a 25% stake in Slovak battery manufacturer Inobat, marking the first investment by a Chinese battery manufacturer in a European startup.

The terms of the investment were not disclosed by the firms. Gotion, which is partially owned by Volkswagen, will provide supply chain and technology support to Inobat.

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Image Credit: Inobat

The two companies had earlier stated that they would explore joint venture opportunities to create batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage.

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The investment will provide Inobat access to Gotion’s R&D, as well as raw materials including lithium, and Gotion’s cell production and recycling capabilities. This will speed up the path to mass production for the Slovak startup. Gotion CEO Li Zhen stated that they want to develop and produce batteries that will make their way into countless families across Europe.

This investment comes as Europe is seeking to develop its own EV battery industry and reduce reliance on leading Asian battery makers.

Few firms have attracted continuing investment in this area as funding for startups has dried up due to high-interest rates and economic uncertainties. However, Swedish lithium-ion battery manufacturer Northvolt, whose clients include Volkswagen and Volvo Cars, recently secured $1.2 billion from investors including BlackRock and a number of Canadian pension plans.

In addition to the investment in Inobat, Gotion is investing up to $6.3 billion in the construction of an EV battery plant in Morocco and a $2.36 billion facility being built in Michigan. Although not yet binding, Inobat has signed declarations of intent to establish EV battery factories with the governments of Spain and Serbia.

Meanwhile, Britishvolt, a UK firm that folded last year, and other EV battery startups have struggled to secure funding.

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