THE regional government of Catalunya has offered Volkswagen’s SEAT the choice of at least two possible sites for a large electric vehicle battery plant the carmaker proposes to build in Spain.
The neighbouring region Aragon has also proposed a possible site for the plant. Several viable Spanish regions are competing for a slice of the €4.3 billion (mostly coming from EU pandemic relief funds) which has been earmarked by the Spanish central government to promote electric vehicle production and build the country’s first battery plant for electric cars. Spain remains the second largest car manufacturer in Europe, after Germany.
SEAT’s main car factory is near Barcelona, the regional capital of Catalunya and the company has said it could start manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) as soon as 2025. If the time scale seems stretched it must be remembered that these battery ‘gigafactories’ are enormous in size, costing millions of euros to build.
Volkswagen intends to build six European battery factories by the end of the decade, saying in July 2021 that it would make its “best efforts” to build one in Spain. The company also said that it depends on the full support of the Spanish government.
The main competition for the SEAT production plant comes from the Germany. Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg is Tesla’s first manufacturing location in Europe and is one of the companies most advanced, sustainable and efficient facility yet. Slated for completion by the end of 2021, it will manufacture hundreds of thousands of Model Y vehicles and millions of battery cells.
- SEAT subsidiary plans to team up with power company Iberdrola to build Spain’s first battery factory for electric vehicles.
- Grants of up to €7,000 should soon be available for buyers of electric cars in Spain’s Valencia region.