Iberdrola has agreed a public-private partnership with Seat and the Spanish government to build a battery factory for the electric car in Catalonia. This will be located in the city of Martorell, where the automaker has its factory.
The sources quoted in some media suggest that the investment would be around 6.8 billion euros. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, commented that the alliance will be open to other partners and will be part of the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE). So it is likely to receive part of the resources from the European recovery fund.
The plant, which will be “close” to Seat’s Martorell plant, at an unidentified location, is the essential piece the entire automotive sector has been calling for in order for Spain to join the sustainable mobility wave.
The project would thus guarantee that a complete connected electric vehicle could be manufactured in Spain autonomously and competitively. And it could even, depending on its size, supply other car plants in southern Europe.
Furthermore, with the announcement, the Minister is responding to the request made a few days ago in Barcelona by Seat’s President, Wayne Griffiths. He urged the Government to make a decisive move in favour of electrification. Seat is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.
In July 2020, the automaker already presented an investment plan until 2025 of 5 billion euros for new projects and vehicles. It assured that its intention was for the Martorell plant to manufacture electric cars from that year onwards.
At the same time, the government’s decision gives a boost to the automotive sector in Catalonia. It been hard hit by the crisis and, above all, by the announcement of Japanese multinational Nissan to close its plants in Barcelona by end-2021.
In fact, the Nissan Reindustrialization Working Committee, which includes the Government, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the company’s management and trade unions, currently has three possible projects on the table to reactivate the facilities once they are empty: the start-up of battery production plants, an electric vehicle assembly plant and an electromobility hub, made up of several companies.
So it cannot be ruled out that the firt Spanish battery plant for electric cars could be located on Nissan’s premises in the Zona Franca.