Thailand is in talks with China’s CATL and other battery makers to build production facilities in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy that has ambitions to become a regional EV production hub, a government official said.
These discussions come as Thailand, a regional autos hub, pushes to become a key player in the global electric vehicle (EV) supply chain outside of China by offering tax cuts and subsidies to drive EV adoption and production.
ARUN PLUS, the PTT subsidiary, is part of a joint venture with Taiwan’s Foxconn that is building a facility with a goal of manufacturing EVs in Thailand as early as 2024.
Thailand is the tenth-largest auto manufacturing economy with production dominated by Japanese automakers including Toyota and Isuzu. By 2030, Thailand aims to convert around 30% of its annual production of 2.5 million vehicles into EVs, according to a government plan.
A plant of that size would produce enough cells to power more than 106,000 EVs with a 75 kilowatt-hour battery.
CATL currently has 13 battery production hubs, 11 in China, one in Hungary and one in Germany. Its 14-GWh plant near Erfurt, Germany began ramping up production this year.
CATL, which has been expanding rapidly outside China, has contracts with Ford Motor (F.N), Honda Motor Co and BMW, among others. Its batteries also power Volkswagen’s I.D. series and Tesla cars built in China.