Škoda to make electric car batteries

The Czech carmaker has secured a contract to create future jobs

Czech carmaker Škoda will start making electric car batteries in Mladá Boleslav for it parent company Volkswagen. The scope of the contract has not been disclosed, but it should create new jobs as carmakers transition away from fossil fuels.

“It's a very important topic because the share of [cars with] diesel engines are falling and it seems like no one can reverse this trend. We need new products to have a future. And we have managed to get a contract for the production of batteries for electric cars,” Jaroslav Povšík, union chairman at Škoda Auto, told daily Mladá fronta Dnes. He added that the staff was enthusiastic about the news.

The batteries will be made in factory hall M6, where engines and transmissions have been produced so far.

Volkswagen, which owns Škoda as well as other brands such as Seat and Audi, has an internal competitive environment where the brands compete for contracts. Many parts are interchangeable among the brands, which helps to keep production costs down.

The Volkswagen family including Škoda plans to replace part of the production of today's fossil fuel powered car models with electric cars. This will lead to the loss of jobs on making parts for gasoline and diesel cars, so getting a contract for parts for electric cars will help to guarantee jobs.

Škoda has a plan for the future called Vision E, under which by 2025 the carmaker will offer five fully electric cars by that year. Škoda chairman Bernhard Maier said the program was the basis for the development of the company. Self-driving autonomous cars are also part of the concept.

First, the company plans to produce its existing Superb and Kodiaq models with installed electric motors and later a brand new car.

Škoda Auto will not be seeking government incentives but does want the government to improve infrastructure near its plants, especially near in Mladá Boleslav. A discussion is underway concerning investment in new roads over the next five years.

A memorandum of cooperation between the government and automotive industry is expected to be signed soon concerning electromobility, autonomous vehicle development, and digitization of production.

Separately, Prague is investing in more charging ports for electric cars.

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