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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Construction Permit For Izera

On 9th May the Polish company ElectroMobility Poland (EMP) obtained the construction permit from the Mayor of Jaworzno to start construction of the factory of Izera, the first Polish Electric Vehicle (EV). The investment will revive the former industrial and mining area with the automotive industry that today contributes to almost 10% of Poland’s GDP. ElectroMobility Poland’s plant will be the first investment in Jaworzno Economic Zone with the expected annual output of 200 thousand vehicles in highly automated process. It will be erected in two stages and the received permit applies to the first one to occupy 169K sq.m. The factory will be constructed by Polish company Mirbud S.A., one of Poland’s market leaders specialising in industrial constructions in the last 30 years. The letter of intent was signed on 13th March. Thanks to the investment Jaworzno has the opportunity to become one of the biggest European centres of EVs production. “This investment will be a significant example of efficient usage of opportunities of Jaworzno Economic Zone. Local authorities’ openness and efficient co-operation  with investors will be an excellent incentive to start other economic undertakings in our region” said Paweł Silbert, Jaworzno Mayor. 

ElectroMobility Poland was incorporated in 2016 for development of broadly understood electromobility industry. Its shareholders are the State Treasury (90.8%) and four Polish energy companies, PGE, Energa, Enea and Tauron. ElectroMobility Poland has signed a licence contract with the Chinese biggest private automotive group Zheijang Geely Holding Group for production of at least two generations of Izera. Production technology is to be integrated by EDAG Engineering (Germany) and the vehicle body is to be designed by Torino Design (Italy). The brand Izera and its logo were officially presented in July 2020 together with two prototypes of hatchback and SUV. Izera will be based on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) launched in September 2020, one of the most advanced automotive architecture on the market developed in co-operation with Volvo engineers in Geely’s centres in Germany, Sweden, UK and China.  

“SEA has been designed by our global R&D centres as the most flexible EV platform available so far. It has been created to include many segments so that its software can be open to other brands in development of their own systems. The contract with EMP is the first one in SEA’s history concluded with a party not from Geely group. We believe that SEA will give EMP and Izera strong competitive advantage. At Geely we want to see how EMP makes its production dreams come true to drive changes in automotive industry in Poland and the whole European Union” said Daniel Donghui Li, Geely Holding Group CEO. 

Today SEA platform is used in production of Zeekr owned by Geely, Smart #1 owned on 50-50 basis by Geely and Mercedes (launched in 2022) and Volvo EX30 (launched in 2023). Engineers emphasize that SEA is extremely scalable in order to select the wheelbase from 1.8 to 3.3 m enabling production of small vehicles (A segment), limousines (E segment) and large vans. In the case of Izera it will also provide for driver assistance systems of 2nd level, i.e. ADAS solutions that detect obstacles, warn the driver of dangerous situations and if the driver does not respond start breaking automatically. 

EMP plans to create the whole line of EV models in C segment from 4.5 to 4.75 m long. The first one will be SUV, followed by combi and hatchback. Vehicle body elements will be supplied by an external producer. The assumed initial production output is 100K vehicles per year with 60% components from Poland. The safety level is planned at five-stars in Euro NCAP tests, which is feasible as Izera’s technical twin Smart#1 obtained the maximum mark in collision tests confirming SEA’s reliability. Izera will have rear-axis drive and 272 horsepower engine. The buyer can choose between 51 kWh battery lasting up to 340 km and 66 kWh battery up to 450 km. 80% of energy can be charged in 30 minutes with 150 kWh charging. EMP plans to launch Izera on Geely’s platform by the end of 2025 to attain continuous production in 2026. However, first Polish EVs will be also available earlier in limited series. 

From the very beginning of the project Izera has been presented as a family brand with state-of-the-art appliances, like multifunctional heated wheel with programmable switches, regulated energy recuperation mode, two screens, virtual personalised indicators and automatic two-zone air conditioning. The company emphasises that it will but affordable for average Poles. “This is one of the most important assumptions of our project. We want to introduce a convenient system of sales by instalments so that the price will be more attractive than combustion cars of comparable class” said Piotr Zaremba, EMP CEO. 

Total investment in Jaworzno is expected to be over zł 6b ($ 1.5b). By the end of 2026 EMP expects to employ 2400 workers in the plant and 12,000 external suppliers and contractors. The government’s detailed audit of EMP has been completed and revealed no irregularities. Now procedural issues connected with EU funding are being solved and on 29 May the Minister of Funds and Regional Policy declared that loan funds have been secured. The decision to start the investment should be made by the Ministry of State Assets soon. 

Marek Gizmajer
Marek Gizmajer
High-tech journalist
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