BEIJING -- A Chinese battery maker spun off from Great Wall Motor is planning its first overseas manufacturing base in Europe.
SVOLT Energy Technology plans to build a base in an as yet undecided European country, with a research center and production for battery materials, cells and modules, SVOLT general manager Yang Hongxin said.
Investment will be around 2 billion euros ($2.24 billion), Yang said Tuesday at an event in the Chinese city of Baoding.
As part of that, SVOLT aims to seek about 1 billion yuan ($145.34 million) in its next fundraising round this year. It will raise more funds to support construction which begins in the second half of next year, with production starting in 2022.
The plant will have an initial capacity of 20 Gigawatt hours.
By 2025, production capacity will be around 24 GWh by 2025, senior SVOLT official Cao Fubiao said.
The plant's first customer will likely be Great Wall, and SVOLT is in talks to supply "German and French car manufacturers," Cao said, declining to identify the automakers.
The European plant would add to SVOLT's first factory under construction in Changzhou, Jiangsu province. The Chinese plant will have initial capacity of 12 GWh and will eventually exceed 70 GWh.
"We plan to have five production bases worldwide, including in the United States, but it will take time," Yang said. "The global plan is to reach a capacity of 100 GWh by 2025."
SVOLT became independent in 2018.
The company also said it is making "good progress" on developing a cobalt-free lithium ion battery - a goal of battery producers aiming to eliminate the pricey and increasingly scarce mineral.
The move comes as Asian battery makers deepen cooperation with automakers in Europe, where limited means of making the cells that power electric vehicles has raised concern of over-reliance on Asian manufacturers.
Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) is building a 14 GWh factory in Germany and will supply batteries to BMW.
CATL was identified as a strategic partner by Volkswagen Group when the German automaker said it will buy 50 billion euros ($56.05 billion) worth of cells.
VW also named South Korea's SK Innovation, LG Chem and Samsung SDI, as well as Sweden's Northvolt.
Great Wall has additionally signed a deal with BMW to build electric Minis in China.