As electric cars boom, locals fear Chinese battery plant will harm land in drought-stricken Hungary

DEBRECEN, Hungary (AP) — Just beyond the pastoral gardens and traditional homes of an eastern Hungarian village, a gigaproject of Chinese industry is taking shape.

Bulldozers and excavators are already preparing the land for construction of a nearly 550-acre electric vehicle (EV) battery plant. The 7.3 billion euro ($7.9 billion) factory will be one of Hungary’s largest-ever foreign investments, and the government hopes it will make the Central European country a global hub of lithium-ion battery manufacturing in an era where governments are increasingly seeking to limit greenhouse gas emissions by switching to electric cars.

But residents, environmentalists and opposition politicians worry that the sprawling factory — built by China-based

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