Hungarian Conservative

Economy Minister Meets with Leading High-Tech Battery Industry Representatives

Minister for National Economy Márton Nagy of Hungary on 30 May 2024 in Budapest
Zoltán Balogh/MTI
On Thursday Minister for National Economy Márton Nagy held a special meeting with representatives from SK ON Hungary and CATL Debrecen, two of the largest and most influential high-tech battery industry companies. The parties reviewed the international situation of the battery industry related to the electric vehicle sector, with particular emphasis on its European context, as well as the challenges facing the sector and the opportunities within the green transition.

On Thursday Minister for National Economy Márton Nagy held a special meeting with representatives from SK ON Hungary and CATL Debrecen, two of the largest and most influential high-tech battery industry companies. The discussions involved Managing Director of SK ON Hungary Cho Daehee, and General Manager of CATL Europe Jason Chen, as reported by the Ministry for National Economy (NGM).

According to the statement, the parties reviewed the international situation of the battery industry related to the electric vehicle sector, with particular emphasis on its European context, as well as the challenges facing the sector and the opportunities within the green transition. The SK Group is one of the three largest conglomerates in South Korea and one of the world’s top 100 international companies, employing over 4,000 people in Hungary through SK ON Hungary at its Komárom and Iváncsa sites. Established in 2011, CATL holds nearly a 40 per cent share in the global market for electric vehicle batteries, making it one of the most significant players in the battery industry worldwide. The market-leading company, which has been in this position for seven years, is expected to employ over 3,000 people in Debrecen in the future.

The statement quoted Márton Nagy, who highlighted during the discussion that green energy and electric vehicles represent the future, constituting one of the driving sectors of the green, circular economy, which is unimaginable without a competitive battery industry.

Hungary acted in time and secured its place among the winners of the green transition.

Hungary serves as a meeting point for Western and Eastern capital and technologies, connecting high-quality German car manufacturing with the most advanced Chinese and Korean battery manufacturing. Additionally, the Chinese BYD electric car manufacturer will establish a factory in Hungary, the first of its kind in Europe.

As a result, Hungary is already a leader in high-tech battery manufacturing, with the country’s GDP-proportional export of batteries and battery components exceeding 5 per cent, making it the top among EU countries. The battery manufacturing sector could bring more than 6,300 billion forints in development to the country in the coming years,

positioning Hungary among the world’s top five battery industry powers.

Hungary’s production capacity could reach 250 gigawatt-hours (GWh), meeting 35 per cent of European demand.

The minister also pointed out the issues that need to be addressed in the short term concerning electric transportation and the closely related high-tech battery industry. The minister stated that to increase the marketability of used electric cars, three major challenges regarding batteries must be addressed: firstly, establishing unified and universally accepted standards for battery inspection to accurately determine the condition and market value of batteries. Secondly, to extend the lifespan of electric cars, it is essential to support the replacement of battery modules or entire batteries, thus enhancing the marketability of used vehicles. Thirdly, to meet sustainability criteria, it is necessary to support the processing and recycling of batteries, along with the related developments and investments.

Márton Nagy emphasized that battery processing is currently a missing industry in Hungary. Therefore, to accelerate the expansion of electric transportation, it is necessary to assess how domestic battery industry players can contribute, as stated in the NGM’s announcement.


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On Thursday Minister for National Economy Márton Nagy held a special meeting with representatives from SK ON Hungary and CATL Debrecen, two of the largest and most influential high-tech battery industry companies. The parties reviewed the international situation of the battery industry related to the electric vehicle sector, with particular emphasis on its European context, as well as the challenges facing the sector and the opportunities within the green transition.

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