Lithium-ion battery maker InoBat Auto has secured investment to fund the development of a 100MWh R&D centre and production line in Slovakia.
The €10 million ($11 million) loan from European organisation CEZ Group— a conglomerate of 96 companies— comes as the Slovakian battery maker progresses plans to build a 10GWh gigafactory to supply the electric vehicle market.
Construction of the first phase 100MWh production line in Voderady will begin later this year with the first batteries ready for distribution in 2021.
Due to COVID-19, due diligence was conducted via Zoom calls and virtual tours with drones.
Marian Bocek, co-founder and CEO, InoBat said: “The need to accelerate the electrification of transport is becoming more urgent and through this investment we 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.”
CEZ Group join lead investor, the asset management firm IPM Group (IPM), technology investor Wildcat Discovery Technologies and other strategic investors including: Matador, AEN, and MSM Group.
The investment from CEZ Group will have the potential to be converted into shares.
CEZ is looking at the prospective mining of lithium in Krušné Hory (Ore Mountains) in Germany, as well as the possible project of another gigafactory in the Czech Republic.