Chinese battery maker starts construction of plant in Thailand
Guests attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the groundbreaking ceremony held by Chinese battery manufacturer SVOLT for its first plant in Southeast Asia in Chonburi, Thailand, July 5, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)
CHONBURI, Thailand, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese battery manufacturer SVOLT held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday for its first plant in Southeast Asia, aiming to tap into the region's rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) market.
Situated in eastern Thailand's Chonburi province, the module pack factory is expected to produce 60,000 sets of module packs annually, following its completion in early 2024.
SVOLT's entry into Southeast Asia aligns with the trend of Chinese EV companies, including GWM, SAIC and BYD, establishing localized production facilities in Thailand as the EV market in the region continues to gain momentum.
The influx of Chinese companies can largely be attributed to the supportive policies of the Thai government, which aims to have 30 percent of all vehicles produced in the country be electric cars by 2030.
To foster competitiveness among Southeast Asian nations, Thailand has implemented policies encouraging investments throughout the entire electric vehicle industry chain.
The factory plans to gradually enhance its energy storage and recycling operations while establishing a localized and efficient cell supply through battery recycling.
Yang Hongxin, chairman and CEO of SVOLT, highlighted Thailand's pivotal role as a regional hub for automotive manufacturing and exports, providing SVOLT with excellent opportunities for overseas expansion and business growth.
"We will first focus on meeting the market demand for passenger cars and gradually expand our business to the energy storage market and recycling market as well," Yang said.
According to Bangkok-based think tank Kasikorn Research Center, total sales of battery EV vehicles in Thailand are projected to surge to 50,000 units in 2023, representing a year-on-year increase of 271.6 percent, compared to 13,454 units sold in 2022.
Wisanu Tabtieng, chief inspectors general of the Thai Ministry of Industry, noted Thailand's eagerness for Chinese companies to invest in the next-generation automotive industry and make Thailand their base for ASEAN production.