May 25, 2010 / 1:26 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Magna plans e-car battery factories in EU, U.S.

* Co-CEO Wolf says investment of $200-300 mln each

* Sees relevant volume of electric cars from 2012/13

(Adds detail, background)

VIENNA, May 25 (Reuters) - Canadian car parts maker Magna International MGa.TO is seeking locations to produce batteries for electric cars, a rapidly growing business as carmakers try alternative power options, Magna’s boss said on Tuesday.

Magna co-Chief Executive Siegfried Wolf said at an event in Vienna that he had earmarked a $200-300 million investment for each of the two factories he is planning. One factory will be built in the European Union, one in the United States.

Magna started a new business earlier this year that will focus exclusively on electric cars and will produce complete vehicles as well as battery units — still the most expensive and technologically challenging part of electric cars.

Wolf said that the decision about where to build the battery factories would be made before the end of the year.

The new E-car business is a joint venture with Magna’s founder Frank Stronach and is part of a complex deal that will reduce Stronach’s direct influence on Magna. Wolf said it would begin serial car production in 2012 or 2013.

He was speaking at a lunch event in Vienna. Magna’s European headquarters is based in Austria. (Reporting by Eva Komarek, writing by Boris Groendahl; editing by Will Waterman and Jon Loades-Carter)

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