Valeo is ramping up its operations in the Czech Republic with the extension of its facility in Žebrák dedicated to the production of battery coolers for electric vehicles. The new premises will comprise 4,000 sq.m of production space and are expected to be inaugurated in the last quarter of 2019.
Valeo is investing 17 million euros (CZK 450 million) in the construction of the plant. Over 1.2 million battery cooling modules – key components for electric vehicles – will be produced annually on the new production lines.
To operate, electric vehicles need batteries, which are costly and highly sensitive to changes in temperature, particularly when charging. For optimal longevity and performance, the batteries’ temperature must be maintained at between 15°C and 45°C, consistently across the cells. Valeo designs battery cooling systems of all sizes to adapt to any vehicle type, whether hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric. Thanks to the solution’s ultra‑flat design, the plates and tubes make excellent contact with the battery pack, thereby ensuring a uniform temperature. Valeo is the leader on this market.
Valeo’s existing plant in Žebrák employs 850 people and is focused on manufacturing components for CO2 emissions reduction. Over 7 million air conditioning evaporators and over 200,000 exhaust gas recirculation coolers are produced there every year.
Valeo has been present in the Czech Republic since 1995, when it created its first plant in Rakovník. Three other plants were opened subsequently, in Žebrák (2001), Humpolec (2002) and Podbořany (2005), to manufacture air conditioning systems, exhaust gas recirculation systems, control panels, front-end modules and hydraulic actuators. A Research and Development unit was set up in Prague in 2002. Most recently, a test track was created in Milovice to evaluate high- and low-speed maneuvers for automated driving systems.
Today, Valeo is one of the biggest automotive industry employers in the Czech Republic, with almost 4,500 employees across its five locations. The Group intends to deliver significant business growth and create several hundred additional jobs in the country in the coming years. To this end, all five plants have plans in place to increase production capacity and R&D capabilities.