Poland has chosen Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd as its partner for its first electric car, betting that the popularity of plug-in vehicles in the EU’s largest eastern economy will grow rapidly in coming years.
The deal between state-controlled ElectroMobility Poland SA and the Chinese automaker should allow the country to begin mass production of its Izera-branded cars by the end of 2025.
Geely, which owns Volvo Cars and has stakes in others including Mercedes, will provide a sustainable experience architecture platform for Polish cars in its first such licensing agreement, according to ElectroMobility CEO Piotr Zaremba.
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Poland previously planned to bring Izera to the market in 2020, but has been hit by delays. ElectroMobility’s minority shareholders include the country’s largest electric utility, which has yet to start building the factory, which it expects to have an initial capacity of 100,000 vehicles a year. It is also seeking PLN 6 billion ($1.3 billion) in equity and debt financing.
The agreement does not envisage financing from Geely, but should help ElectoMobility make progress with investors to secure the first commitments later next year, the company said Thursday.
Poland had fewer electric vehicles registered at the end of September than Germany registered each month. According to estimates from the PSPA association cited by ElectroMobility, the number of such vehicles will reach nearly 1 million by 2030.
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The deal with Geely is an important step for Poland, which stopped production of its last domestic car brand, Polonez, two decades ago. The country currently hosts several factories in the automotive battery industry, including LG Chem Ltd., Northvolt and Umicore SA.
The presence in Poland of the automotive industry, which includes Stellantis NV, Volkswagen AG and Mercedes-Benz Group AG, should allow ElectroMobility to meet its target of sourcing 60 percent of Izera’s components locally.
First published date: Nov 19, 2022 at 09:22 AM CST