Volkswagen and Umicore pick Poland for site of €1.7bn EV battery component factory

Volkswagen and Umicore pick Poland for site of €1.7bn EV battery component factory
Volkswagen is making a belated push in the electric cars market. / bne IntelliNews
By Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw October 11, 2023

Ionway, a joint venture between PowerCo, part of the Volkswagen group, and Belgian materials company Umicore, has selected the Polish town of Nysa to build a factory to make components for electric car batteries, Volkswagen said on October 7.

The Polish government is contributing €350mn in grants to the €1.7bn investment. “This is a landmark investment for the entire Opole region and an opportunity for further regional development,” Deputy Defence Minister Marcin Ociepa, who is running for the parliament from the region in the election this Sunday, said in a statement.

“The strategic location of the plant in Poland, right next to Umicore’s [existing] battery materials plant, will further enable the transition to electric driving that is truly sustainable,” said Umicore's CEO Mathias Miedreich.

Typically for a greenfield project of this type, Ionway picked its location due to the availability of a skilled workforce. The company also stressed the option to make the factory powered with renewable energy only. 

Ionway’s factory is but the most recent in a series of related investments in Poland, which is a European powerhouse in the electric vehicle segment.

Mercedes-Benz is planning a €1bn factory making electric vans in Poland while Volvo is establishing a technology hub to “facilitate transition to all-electric production”,  Notes from Poland reported. 

South Korean battery parts producer SK Nexilis started construction of a €660mn factory in Stalowa Wola in 2022.

Poland’s plan to put as many as one million electric cars on the country’s roads by 2025 remains a pipe dream, however. Delays have also plagued the government’s plan for a Polish electric car brand, Izera.