German electric vehicle start-up Next e.Go Mobile will invest EUR 140m in a car production plant in Bulgaria, the country’s economy minister Kiril Petkov said.
The factory will be based in the northern city of Lovech and is expected to employ about 1,000 people within the first two years of its operations, Petkov told reporters on Saturday after signing an memorandum of understanding for the investment with the company. It will be a cyber-physical twin of the smart Industry 4.0 factory in Aachen, Germany – first of its kind fully connected digital micro factory in the BEV industry, leveraging the Internet of Production architecture and advanced automation. It will be the first mass-production facility of electric cars in the Balkans.
The factory in Lovech will be built in an industrial park of over 160,000 sqm, with the roofed area of more than 65,000 sqm. When the plant reaches full capacity, every 15 minutes a vehicle will leave the factory. The project establishes the foundation for an industrial cluster, enabling local component manufacturers to enter the automotive industry eco-system by certifying and joining the global suppliers network.
Next e.Go Mobile makes budget cars affordable for the wider population. Its Bulgarian facility will produce its E.Go Life and E.Go Life Cross models. Another major company in Bulgaria – Bosch, will supply parts for these vehicles that will be produced in Bulgaria.
“We want to make sure that people have affordable, clean and sustainable mobility,” Ali Vezvaei, chairman of the management board at Next e.GO, told reporters.
Petkov said the government would provide a total of EUR 34m to support Next e.Go Mobile in three tranches. The first tranche will be paid when the company starts producing its electric cars and the final one when its sales reach 20,000 cars a year, he said. The total estimated annual production capacity of the Bulgarian plant is about 30,000 vehicles.