EA pins hopes on battery, EV production

EA pins hopes on battery, EV production

Firm taking a more cautious approach

An artist's rendition of Energy Absolute's 50GWh lithium-ion battery factory in Chachoengsao province.
An artist's rendition of Energy Absolute's 50GWh lithium-ion battery factory in Chachoengsao province.

Energy Absolute Plc (EA) views 2021 as its "year of yields", with 20% of its total revenue to come from newly-built battery and electric vehicle (EV) assembly factories, as the company takes a more cautious approach to the renewable energy business.

EA is increasingly emphasising the EV industry after finding the renewable energy business it entered in 2012 is beginning to show signs of a decreasing return on investment, with big companies entering the segment and lower tariffs from the government for electricity generated from clean fuel, said EA deputy chief executive Amorn Sapthaweekul.

He said a battery production facility will be ready in the first quarter this year, while machinery is being installed at an EV assembly plant scheduled to operate in May.

"This year will be our year of yields after we've made great efforts to invest in EV ecosystem development with energy storage and EV assembling technologies," said Mr Amorn.

EV and battery production are expected to earn 20% of total revenue during their first year of operation.

Some 50% will come from renewable power generation and the remainder will be contributed by oleo chemicals and biodiesel businesses.

Mr Amorn said the company is working to offset the suspension of electric taxi sales during the pandemic by negotiating new deals with companies planning to switch from internal combustion engine-driven cars to EVs.

"We've received orders from these companies for 500 EVs," he said, adding EA is only waiting for the companies to sign purchase contracts.

EA also plans to sell EVs to a firm which will be awarded a contract to supply electric buses to Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) under BMTA's plan to phase out more than 2,000 oil-powered buses, said Mr Amorn.

The state bus operator is preparing to call bidding for its electric bus project.

In 2021, Mr Amorn said, EA will also increase the number of EV charging outlets to 1,000, up from 400 at present.

Late last year, the company also launched a trial of electric ferry cruises on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Up to 27 cruises will be delivered for the test by March.

EA is going ahead with its plan to build demand for its power storage technology.

It introduced its electric car, called the Mine, at the 2018 Bangkok Motor Show, while it has been building charging outlets in Bangkok and major cities.

EA ventured into EV-related businesses in 2016 by acquiring shares in Taiwan-based Amita Technologies Inc, a local energy storage manufacturer. It later began developing battery production and EV assembly facilities within Chachoengsao Industrial Estate.

Do you like the content of this article?