Automotive

InoBat Auto secures €10m investment from CEZ Group

7th July 2020
Alex Lynn

The R&D and electric battery production company InoBat Auto has secured additional €10m investment to fund the development of a 100MWh R&D centre and production line in Slovakia.

The funding has been secured from CEZ Group, who will join lead investor, IPM Group (IPM), technology investor Wildcat Discovery Technologies and other investors in supporting InoBat Auto’s bid to catapult Europe to becoming a global force in Electric Vehicle battery technology and production.

The investment from CEZ Group is in the form of a loan, which following subsequent additional investment, will have the potential to be converted into shares. It demonstrates the sector’s commitment to delivering clean energy solutions in the face of economic and climate uncertainty. 

The construction of the first phase 100MWh production line will begin later this year with the first batteries ready for distribution in 2021. InoBat Auto is also progressing plans to build a 10GWh Gigafactory with the potential to provide 240,000 Electric Vehicles with cutting edge, bespoke batteries by 2024.  

InoBat Auto will be the first European supplier of customised batteries to the Electric Vehicle market. ‘High throughput’ (HTP) R&D technology, provided through partner Wildcat Discovery Technologies, tests multiple variations of battery chemistry, applying artificial intelligence (AI) to outcomes to select the optimum composition to meet the performance requirements of the vehicle manufacturer. R&D output can then be quickly scaled up to produce customised batteries that can then be produced cost effectively, and at scale. 

InoBat Auto will now look to build on the strong foundations of the existing automotive and energy sectors in Central and Eastern Europe. The company aims to accelerate the rapid implementation of electromobility solutions in Europe by developing a fully integrated value chain which will increase the global competitiveness of the European economy and provide a long-term sustainable solution to the automotive market.

Marian Bocek, Co-founder and CEO, InoBat Auto, commented: “This investment cements our strategic partnership with CEZ Group, one of the most influential energy companies in Europe. The need to accelerate the electrification of transport is becoming more urgent and through this investment InoBat Auto will be able to deliver state-of-the-art, customised batteries to Electric Vehicle manufacturers as early as next year, something which no other company in Europe can offer.

“The investment also proves that despite a challenging global situation, significant deals can and must be done if the global economy is to recover as rapidly as possible from this situation. It was actually an unprecedented process since we conducted due diligence via Zoom calls and virtual tours with drones.” 

Pavel Cyrani, the vice chairman of the Board of directors of CEZ added: “The governments of Czech Republic and Slovakia announced a partnership in electromobility and this is one of the projects that fulfils this initiative. Our cooperation with InoBat Auto complements other projects CEZ has in this field, such as the prospective mining of lithium In Krušné Hory that might be used in EV batteries, as well as the possible project of another Gigafactory in the Czech Republic.”

Following last month's announcement of InoBat Auto's acquisition of the site to build the R&D facility in Voderady, Slovakia, the company will now have access to industrial partners across Europe and the region’s escalating technology capability. Central Europe is host to the largest concentration of major automotive OEMs per km2  in the world, while Slovakia is the leading global auto producer per capita, with neighbouring Czech Republic ranking second. CEZ Group’s funding comes just three months after the Slovakian Government’s pledge of EUR 5m to InoBat Auto.

InoBat Auto is backed by a strong consortium of investors and technology companies, including lead investor IPM Group (IPM) - one of the fastest growing asset managers focused on the InfraTech sector and bringing ground-breaking technologies to Europe – strategic investors Matador, AEN, MSM Group and Wildcat Discovery Technologies, a US energy tech firm backed by Virgin's Green Fund.  

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