Gotion's joint venture plant in Thailand has a planned capacity of 2 GWh of battery packs per year for the first phase, which will be expanded to 8 GWh in the future.

(Image credit: Gotion High-tech)

Gotion High-tech's joint venture in Thailand has seen its first locally-produced battery pack roll off the assembly line, marking an important milestone for the Volkswagen-backed Chinese power battery giant in the international market.

With two Thai workers completing the final assembly process on December 7, the joint venture -- NV Gotion Co Ltd -- saw its first battery pack roll off the line, the first locally produced battery pack in Thailand, Gotion said.

The battery pack, based on lithium iron phosphate chemistry, has a capacity of 38 kWh, which can allow an electric vehicle (EV) to achieve a range of 400 kilometers and meets the demand for batteries for A-class models in Thailand's EV market, Gotion said.

Gotion's battery packs produced in Thailand offer performance and economic advantages, and it has already received a supply nomination letter from Auto, a new car-making force from China, said Yu Qiang, NV Gotion's marketing director, adding that volume supply is expected to start in the first quarter of next year.

The first phase of the plant's battery pack production capacity is planned to be 2 GWh per year, with plans to expand it to 8 GWh in the future based on market demand, said Sun Xiyi, CEO of NV Gotion.

In the first three quarters of this year, Thailand registered more than 50,000 new energy vehicles (NEVs), 7.6 times more than in the same period last year, indicating a huge market potential, Gotion said.

Gotion entered into a strategic partnership with Hozon New Energy Automobile, owner of the Neta brand, this year, receiving a letter of nomination to supply batteries for several Neta models, according to the company.

On December 15, 2022, Gotion said its wholly owned subsidiary Gotion Singapore signed an agreement with Thailand's Nuovo Plus Company Limited to form the joint venture NV Gotion.

Nuovo is a subsidiary of PTT Group, Thailand's largest state-controlled energy and petrochemical company.

The joint venture has an initial registered capital of 300 million baht ($8.5 million), with Gotion Singapore holding a 49 percent stake and Nuovo holding 51 percent, according to an announcement by Gotion last year.

The rollout of the first battery pack, which comes 11 months after the start of construction of the Thai joint venture plant, marks an important step in Gotion's globalization efforts, said Li Zhen, chairman of the battery maker.

The plant is expected to facilitate localized production for Gotion's EV partners, including Neta.

On Nov. 30, Neta announced that its plant in Thailand had gone into production, with the assembly of the first right-hand drive version of the Neta V-II completed.

After mass production begins in the first quarter of 2024, the plant will have a capacity of 20,000 units per year, Neta said at the time, adding that it will become the primary manufacturing base for Neta's right-hand drive EVs, meeting mobility needs in Thailand and the broader market.

Gotion is one of the largest power battery makers, with a global installed capacity of 13.0 GWh in the January-October period, ranking 8th globally with a 2.4 percent share, according to data released on December 6 by South Korean market researcher SNE Research.

($1 = 35.2300 baht)

Global EV battery market share in Jan-Oct: CATL 36.9%, BYD 15.8%