InoBat Auto, a Slovakia-based battery cell making startup that was formed in 2019, is looking to capitalize on a predicted sixfold increase in electric vehicle production in Europe in the next five years. The company anticipates that the installed demand for battery plants in Europe will be 550 to 600 gigawatt hours by 2030, leaving a shortfall in installed capacity of up to 150 gigawatt hours by that time. With so much of a gap to close InoBat Auto's head of business development, Jonathan Carrier, says there is plenty of space for current and new players to establish themselves in Europe. He says the company is currently testing its own battery cells, and by 2024 it aims to start producing at its Slovakia Gigafactory, which is close to plants owned by Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen, as well as within a 500-kilometer radius of facilities that make 2 million vehicles a year. To appeal to those potential customers and stand apart from rivals, Carrier says the startup will showcase its ability to quickly bring new battery technologies to market. He says InoBatt can do so while still delivering quality, reliability and affordability. He recently spoke with Automotive News Europe Managing Editor Douglas A. Bolduc.
Could you outline InoBat's current situation and provide the outlook for the company?
InoBat started a couple of years ago within the IPM group. It was was set up by our CEO, Marian Bocek, with the understanding that Central Europe has become the manufacturing powerhouse of the European automotive industry. That is particularly true about Slovakia, which produces more cars per capita than anywhere else in the world. Its home to the second major factory for the Volkswagen Group, Jaguar Land Rover has a plant there, as do PSA and Kia. Those cars will eventually go electric, and they will need batteries and batteries that are sourced locally.