European molders lining up to supply electric car battery parts

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Tesla Jihlava An automotive electronic connector produced by Tesla Jihlava.

Technical plastics parts producers in the Czech Republic are among national firms aiming to supply components for a new type of electric vehicle battery being developed by Samsung SDI in Austria.

Injection molders Tesla Jihlava, based at Jihlava in the central south of the country, and Linaset of Budišov nad Budišovkou, further east, were among 18 Czech companies offering their products and technology at a recent supplier forum for Samsung.

This was organized for the Korean giant by CzechInvest, the country’s business and investment development agency, and staged in the Austrian city of Graz.

Samsung SDI is already an established supplier of lithium-ion batteries to the expanding electric car market in Europe. It has been selected globally as the core battery provider in more than 30 vehicle electrification projects.

The group offshoot, Samsung SDI Battery Systems GmbH, is developing the new battery at its Zettling production center in Austria. In 2015, Samsung acquired the plant with Magna Steyr Battery Systems from Canada’s Magna International Inc. automotive components group.

Samsung SDI is investing more than 327 million euros ($351 million) to establish a new battery plant at Göd in northern Hungary which is set to begin commercial operation in the second half of next year. Its production lines will turn out up to 50,000 batteries a year for electric vehicles.

The facility is being built on a 330,000-square-meter site which includes infrastructure for the former group plant producing plasma display panels (PDPs). Samsung considers the plant location ideal for serving regional automotive customers with plants mainly located in central and Eastern Europe.

The two Czech plastics processors were both set up in the 1950s and offer a range of injection molded parts, moldings and assemblies for the electronics, automotive and electrical goods sectors.

Tesla Jihlava, part of the German CONTTEK group, operates 37 Engel and Arburg injection molding machines up to 200 metric tons in clamping force and can handle insert molding and cable overmolding processing. The firm also offers metal stamping and electroplating services.

Linaset is a molder and injection mold maker, turning out both thermoplastic and thermoset plastic pressed moldings from BMC and SMC materials. It recently added new injection machines from Krauss Maffei and Arburg.

The company offers component assembly including ultrasonic welding, laser printing and tampo printing and also manufactures home appliances.