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Prelios fund sells 1 sq km Turin site for car battery factory

Italian fund manager Prelios has agreed the sale of a 1 million sq m site in Turin to electric car battery maker Italvolt for the construction of one of Europe’s largest lithium ion battery factories.

The so called gigafactory will require total investment of €3.4 billion and is to be developed on land formerly occupied by Olivetti in the city’s Scarmagno district.

According to Prelios, Italvolt chose the former Olivetti site in Scarmagno because of its technical features and proximity to major road and rail links. The area also has strong ties with industry in Piedmont, the focus of much of Italy’s motor manufacturing.

Italvolt, founded by its CEO Lars Carlstrom, former chairman and cofounder of Britishvolt, will rehabilitate and redevelop the land, and will designate a 300,000 sq m site for the new factory which will include a 20,000 sq m research and development facility. The factory will be used for the production and storage of lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles and will produce 45Gwh when fully operational.

Italvolt now plans to obtain building permits, which is expected to take place early in 2022, with work commencing in the second half of the year. The new factory will be designed by Pininfarina’s Architecture Division with a strong focus on environmental and social footprint.

Prelios SGR CEO Patrick Del Bigio (L) and Italvolt CEO Lars Carlstrom.

“The vacant land has plenty of potential, and we plan to restore it to the local community, creating jobs and cleaning up the site,” said Carlstrom.

Demand for lithium ion batteries in Europe is expected to grow at a rate of 24% a year, led by electric vehicles, exceeding 1,200 GWh by 2035. At present, a gap in production of more than 250GWh is anticipated.