ACEA, the association of European automobile manufacturers, has produced a detailed interactive map showing the distribution of the plants of automobile production in Europe. It also includes the assembly of heavy transport or the production of batteries.
The map includes all the spaces dedicated to the manufacture of vehicles in the European Union and in the Old Continent, so for the statistics the United Kingdom or Russia are included. These two countries are leaders in light vehicle assembly plants, with 19 spaces dedicated to this purpose and only surpassed by Germany, which has 22 factories.
In total, the European Union has 194 factories dedicated to transport, with the bulk of them, with a total of 80 plants, manufacturing light vehicles. That is, one in four spaces of this type in the European Union are within Germany. France (12 floors) and Italy (10 floors) follow them far behind. Spain, with eight factories dedicated to this type of car, is fourth on the list.
If we only talk about motors (electric or not), the weight of the European Union is greater and the distribution is very similar to what we have already seen. Of the 74 plants of this type in Europe, 50 of them belong to countries within the EU. And, once again, a quarter are on German soil, to add up to 13 plants of this type. Italy and Poland, with seven spaces dedicated to this purpose, are the following countries. France adds six and Spain another three factories.
Outside the EU, Russia and the United Kingdom are once again the ones with the greatest weight, adding up to 17 plants of the 22 factories that are located in the Old Continent but outside the European Union. With the sum of all the plants, 44% of all the factories are dedicated to the assembly of light vehicles in the European Union and 24% of them are dedicated to the production of engines.
Batteries, the European mole
As can be seen from the data provided by ACEA, manufacturers have a large number of plants for the production of vehicles (light or heavy) and engines, so the transition to electric cars should allow a good part of the themselves.
It must be remembered, despite this, that the reconversion of production lines requires a significant economic investment and that workers are already facing tougher working conditions to maintain some of these production lines.
But it is in battery manufacturing where plants are in short supply. The European Union has 17 factories dedicated to this work and, if we take a broader perspective, only one more from the United Kingdom is added. In other words, only 6% of the production lines in Europe, 18 plants of 301 factories, are dedicated to the generation of batteries for electric cars.
These plants have the drawback that they force the manufacturer to build new spaces that, in addition, entail some environmental problems (especially in water consumption) that have caused spaces such as Tesla in Berlin to suffer continuous delays. In Spain, only Renault manufactures batteries in Valladolid, although the Volkswagen Group has also approved a plant in Sagunto (Valencian Community).
Once again, Germany is once again the biggest promoter, with up to six spaces dedicated to this type of product on its soil. Far behind is any other battery-producing country (Poland and Finland have two factories). That is, one in three battery plants in Europe are located in Germany.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism