Published on August 2nd, 2018 | by Steve Hanley0
Energy Absolute Plans 50 GWh Battery Factory In Thailand, BMW To Build New EV Factory In Hungary
August 2nd, 2018 by Steve Hanley
Battery Factory In Thailand
Energy Absolute has announced it will invest $3 billion dollars to build a battery manufacturing plant in Thailand. According to deputy CEO Amorn Sapthaweekul, the new factory will start off by producing 1 GWh of batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage. Production is scheduled to begin by the end of 2019. He says his company is in talks with several local companies including PTT, a fossil fuel group owned by the Thai government, about contributing to the cost of the factory.
Over time, the plan is to expand battery production to as much as 50 GWh per year, according to a report in Renewable Energy World. That’s about 50% more than the initial plans for the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. Elon Musk once remarked that the world will need dozens of Gigafactories to meet the need for energy storage products and added he hoped he wouldn’t have to build them all himself. It looks as though he needn’t be concerned. Others are eager to pitch in as the battle for market share heats up worldwide.
Energy Absolute is also planning to install up to 1,000 charging stations for electric vehicles in the capital city of Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. Amorn Sapthaweekul says his company wants to secure the best charging locations before the competition does and that creating charging infrastructure will drive the adoption of electric cars by Thai drivers faster than anticipated.
BMW in Hungary
BMW has been relatively quiet about its electric car plans, which seems odd, considering sales of the Tesla Model 3 are now considerably larger in the US than sales of the BMW 3 Series — the mainstay of the BMW brand. The company announced this week it will invest $1 billion to construct a new vehicle manufacturing plant in Debrecen, Hungary. Reuters reports the new factory will have a capacity of 150,000 cars a year and will be able to build both electric cars and cars with conventional internal combustion engines.
45% of all BMWs are sold in Europe and the new Hungarian plant is expected to help the company keep up with demand on the Continent. There is no word on what models the company plans to produce at the new factory, but it seems to be yet another sign that traditional car companies are continuing to hedge their bets about the future of electric cars. BMW started the EV era boldly with the innovative i3 electric car, but since then seems to have had a rather muddled view of the future and been content to let others take the lead — especially Tesla, which is said to be contemplating a European factory of its own.
BMW apparently believes it will continue selling the same number of automobiles in its home market as it ever has, even without a strong electric car lineup. “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.
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