Chinese battery manufacturer Svolt Energy Technology (Svolt) has begun construction of a plant in Thailand to make battery packs for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Svolt has been expanding aggressively since it was spun off from Baoding Great Wall Holding, the parent company of Chinese vehicle manufacturer Great Wall Motor, in 2018. The company has 11 production sites in China and plans to build five EV battery cell plants in Europe where it aims to have capacity of 50 gigawatt-hours per year by the end of the decade.

Svolt, through its local subsidiary Svolt Energy (Thailand), is said to be investing an initial US$30m in the Thai facility with completion scheduled by the end of 2023. The plant will have an initial capacity to assemble 60,000 battery packs per year and will also have an assembly line for battery modules.

According to local reports, Svolt has leased an existing plant in Chonburi province which it will refurbish for battery production helping to speed up the construction phase.

The plant will mainly supply batteries to Great Wall Motors Manufacturing (Thailand) which has a vehicle assembly plant in Rayong. It is also in talks with other potential customers in Thailand, including China’s Hozon which is also building a vehicle assembly plant in the country.

Svolt chairman Yang Hongxin said in a statement: “as the second largest economy in south east Asia, Thailand is an important base for automotive manufacturing and exports, providing tremendous opportunities for Chinese new energy vehicles to go global. With Thailand as a new starting point for our southeast Asian market strategy, we will introduce advanced lithium-ion technology into Thailand.”

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By GlobalData