Inicio EV Big EV battery cell plant likely in two years

Big EV battery cell plant likely in two years

Big EV battery cell plant likely in two years

Big EV battery cell plant likely in two years
An electric vehicle charging outlet displayed at a car show in Bangkok. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The Board of Investment (BoI) expects foreign investors to set up a big plant in Thailand to produce battery cells for electric vehicles (EVs) within two years, following its roadshow in China last week.

BoI secretary-general Narit Therdsteerasukdi said the roadshow highlighted promotional privileges for Chinese EV battery manufacturers and was held in Fujian and Guangdong from April 7-10.

The interested manufacturers were Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), China Aviation Lithium Battery (CALB), Inpow Battery Technology (IBT), Eve Energy, Gotion High-tech, Sunwoda and SVOLT Energy Technology.

These companies saw investment opportunities in Thailand and were very interested in BoI’s new promotional privileges for the production of battery cells for EVs and energy storage systems, Mr Narit said.

The production of battery cells was an upstream industry that used advanced technology and knowledge of chemicals and materials and required huge investment. It was the heart of the electric vehicle industry, he said.

BoI offers investors a waiver of corporate income tax, exemption of tariffs on imported machinery and raw materials, and financial support, all to increase competitiveness.

Mr Narit said that this year at least two large manufacturers would have clear plans to produce battery cells in Thailand and they would invest about 30 billion baht in total for this purpose. Each manufacturer would begin with a production capacity of 6-10 gigawatt hours a year, he said.

Other companies were either in discussion with Thai partners or expanding their study after earlier planning  to produce only battery modules and packs. They were interested in the new promotional privileges, Mr Narit said.

«I believe that in two years Thailand will have a large-scale battery cell factory. This will be another milestone to strengthen the supply chain and the long-term foundation of the electric vehicle industry in Thailand,» the BoI secretary-general said.