The Catalan company Bold will invest 25 million euros over the next year in a growth plan to boost the production of electric batteries in the aviation and high-performance automotive sectors.
This strategic plan includes hiring 100 new engineers, opening a new factory in the United States, and the intensification of R&D activities with the creation of new laboratories at its production plant in Montmeló (Barcelona) to make it one of the reference centers in Europe.
Bold inaugurated this 3,000 m2 facility last year to design and produce its own technology in high-performance electric batteries. The plant focuses on developing and integrating all the components of the batteries, such as casing, cooling, software, and electronics. The company hired 100 engineers last year and expects to have a workforce of 170 employees by the end of this year.
For this project, the company has received support and a grant of 100,000 euros from ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the Business Competitiveness agency of the Ministry of Business and Labour, as part of the High Impact Business Investments line.
The announcement was made this Thursday by the Minister of Business and Labour, Roger Torrent, Bold's CEO, Bernat Carreras, and the Mayor of Montmeló, Pere Rodríguez, during a meeting at the company's production plant in Montmeló.
“We have big challenges ahead of us, but we are building a first-class team and developing a product currently ahead of the competition. There is currently only one other manufacturer of this type of battery in Europe”
Bernat Carreras, CEO of Bold
The Minister of Business and Labour, Roger Torrent, assured that "Bold is a key company for the Government of Catalonia and its project is a model of how we want to re-industrialize Catalonia, which will create specialized and high-quality jobs and is linked to the field of electric batteries and, therefore, to the decarbonization of mobility." This investment greatly interests us from a national point of view, and that is why we have supported it from ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment and have accompanied them in this process that allows us to grow in Montmeló, around the Circuit, and in the industrial area of Vallès, which is fundamental for us, but also abroad, for example in the United States", he stressed.
On the other hand, Bold's CEO emphasized that "we are proving that sustainable mobility technologies go beyond electric cars and that we can lead a sector through knowledge and investment in our own territory." For Carreras, "We have big challenges ahead of us, but we are building a first-class team and developing a product currently ahead of the competition. There is currently only one other manufacturer of this type of battery in Europe."
The production of batteries for electric aircraft begins
The company has already begun production of the first batteries for electric aircraft manufactured in Catalonia. They are currently in the prototype phase. The first deliveries will be made in the year's second half to aircraft or propulsion system manufacturers in the United States to test the technology and obtain the required certifications to be installed in the first aircraft by 2024.
Designed and manufactured by Bold, these batteries are made of carbon fiber - the same material used in Formula 1 - and will be used in light aircraft with 2 to 9 passengers for regional flights.
The aircraft equipped with Bold batteries belong to the AAM (Advanced Aeromobility) sector, that is, aircraft capable of vertical hovering and landing. This technology can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 70% for regional flights. They will start with hybrid aircraft, facilitating certification by the US and EU regulators (the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, respectively).
Technology designed and built in Catalonia
The company recently opened a subsidiary in the United Kingdom and is growing faster than expected with the start-up of its production plant, which has required renovating several areas of its facilities.
The Bold project began with the company's creation in 2019 by Bernat Carreras, an ex-engineer of Formula 1 teams such as McLaren, Alpine, and Honda, specializing in designing composite materials and electric batteries. The company started with engineering services, but since 2021 has been investing strategically in the development of its own products for advanced sustainable mobility and aims to become a world reference in the electric aircraft sector.