Almost anyone can come up with an electric vehicle (EV) these days, but producing EV batteries is another thing altogether – there are only a couple of battery manufacturers around and they dominate the market. In China, EV specialist BYD makes its own batteries, and GAC Motor is set to do the same.
The Guangzhou-based company is seeking to make its own EV batteries to ensure supplies for its growing EV output. The state-owned carmaker plans to build a US$1.58 billion (RM7.18 billion) battery plant it its southern home city. Construction is set to start at the end of 2022, and the facility is expected to produce 26.8 gigawatt-hours of batteries per annum in 2025.
The new factory will initially produce lithium iron phosphate batteries for GAC’s EV sub-brand Aion and other affiliates, before supplying other carmakers. It sold 125,284 units of Aion-badged EVs in the first seven months of 2022, a 135% year-on-year jump.
GAC is also the local JV partner for Japanese giants Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi. Sounds familiar? Not many realise or remember, but GAC actually has a presence in Malaysia via Tan Chong, which launched the GAC GS3 in January 2022. The Malaysia-spec B-segment SUV with a 1.5L NA engine is GAC’s first ever right-hand drive car. Have you seen it on the road before? GAC is also behind the Trumpchi brand and this Alphard lookalike.