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Thailand woos Chinese EV investment, secures Chery

  • Market: Battery materials
  • 23/04/24

Chinese state-owned auto producer Chery Automobile will build an electric vehicle (EV) factory in Thailand after more than two years of discussions with Thailand's Board of Investment (BOI), which has secured multiple other EV-related investment.

Chery will build a plant in Rayong province with a first phase capacity of 50,000 unit/yr of battery and hybrid EVs, which is scheduled to begin production in 2025, BOI said on 22 April. The plant's capacity is expected to be expanded to 80,000 unit/yr by 2028 in a second phase. Chery's project has also been approved by BOI for the country's investment promotion. Thailand's investment promotion strategy grants successful projects tax and non-tax incentives.

BOI secretary-general Narit Therdsteerasukdi this month met executives from seven Chinese battery manufacturing firms, including Gotion High-tech, China Aviation Lithium Battery and the world's largest battery producer CATL. Two major manufacturers are expected to invest in cell-level battery production in Thailand this year, which will each come with 6-10 GWh of capacity in their first phase and with a combined investment value of over 30bn baht ($810mn).

All the firms were interested in Thailand's incentives for EV battery manufacturers, said Narit.

"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," said Narit.

Thailand aims to attract Bt1 trillion of investment for its future automobile industry by 2030 as it seeks to become a future mobility hub, Thai prime minister Srettha Thavisin said in February. The country has since secured Bt240bn of investment from Japanese car producer Isuzu.

Thailand last year also secured Bt9.8bn of investment from Chinese major auto manufacturer Changan Automobile, similarly after two years of discussions.

Thailand's EV registrations in 2023 more than quadrupled from a year earlier to nearly 90,000 units, reaching a 10pc vehicle sales share that is comparable to the US, according to the IEA's Global EV Outlook 2024.


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