World Energy Group teams with six overseas companies on US$760m project to build electric vehicles locally
Motorcycles, cars and parts to be produced under multinational deal
World Energy Group Co has teamed up with six overseas companies to spend US$760 million (25.1 billion baht) for making electric vehicles (EVs) locally.
The Bangkok-based company signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday with two Chinese EV makers, BAIC International Development and Benling; three distributors, Interplan of Nigeria, Legacy Impex of India and Indawan Enterprise of Malaysia; and a Thai EV battery maker, Beta Energy Solution.
They will pool their efforts under the name ETA to start producing EVs and parts, covering motorcycles and cars. The production plant is in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan.
President Ratthakrit Netirathanonkul said $600 million of the total budget is slated for EV car assembly under a joint venture between World Energy and Interplan. A major stake of 80% is owned by Interplan, while World Energy holds the rest.
The EV factory is scheduled to start operations over the next two years with a capacity of 10,000 cars a year.
The remaining $160 million is for EV motorcycle assembly, which falls under the joint venture between World Energy and Benling. A 70% stake of that venture belongs to the Thai side, and the rest to the Chinese firm.
The motorcycle factory will start operations in November, with annual maximum capacity of 60,000 units.
“Other partners will be the company’s suppliers and overseas distributors,” Mr Ratthakrit said.
He said the company has not been awarded any investment privileges from the Board of Investment, since it imports EV parts from China to assemble vehicles in Thailand.
According to Mr Ratthakrit,
World Energy can offer affordable prices of 55,000-89,000 baht for motorcycles and 300,000 baht for cars because of the imported parts.
“I target sales volume of 1,000 city cars and 10,000 motorcycles by 2018,” he said. “In 2020, the company will export 60% of its total output to Nigeria, Ethiopia and India.”
Under the specifications, World Energy’s EV cars can drive 150-400 kilometres per charge and the EV motorcycles have a range of 150km.
Apart from EV production, World Energy also plans to spend 300 million baht to build 500 normal charging stations. The charging stations can be located at homes, universities, department stores and commercial buildings.
Some 4,500 quick charging stations will be introduced nationwide by 2023.
World Energy, a subsidiary of rice exporter T Group, was founded in 2012 with registered capital of 10 million baht.
Men work on BMW’s plug-in hybrid assembly line in Rayong province. A newly formed consortium called ETA will make electric vehicles in Samut Prakan.