BMW plans electric car battery factory in Thailand: industry minister


Plugging in: BMW Group is considering building a new plug-in hybrid vehicle battery factory in Thailand. — Reuters

BANGKOK: German carmaker BMW Group is considering building a new plug-in hybrid vehicle battery factory in Thailand, the country's industry minister said on July 22.

Construction was likely to start in the middle of next year with an investment of ?2bil (RM232.8mil), Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang said, adding that the factory would make hybrid vehicles more affordable for Thai consumers.

"Hybrid vehicles are still expensive now but once there is a factory established and batteries are available this will make it affordable for consumers," Atchaka told reporters.

A spokesman for BMW in Thailand said the company was not immediately able to comment on the investment but would issue a statement on July 25.

Atchaka said the Thai Government was working with BMW to offer tax incentives in order to make the country a centre for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Thailand is a regional production and export hub for the world's top carmakers, and the sector accounts for around 10% of the country's gross domestic product. — Reuters

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