Local firm going to produce electric vehicles from next year

Plant at Mirsarai having external technical support is set to change vehicles on roads

Holiday Report
A local automobile firm Bangladesh Auto Industries Ltd (BAIL) is going for producing electric vehicles in Bangladesh from next year with an initial investment of $200 million.
It will be located on a 100-acre of land at the Mirsarai economic zone in Chattogram. The company is set to complete infrastructure building and other utility connection by December this year, reports a national daily quoting its managing director Mir MasudKabir last week.
THe manufacturing may start by next June, he said. BAIL will manufacture two-wheelers, three-wheelers, sedan, hatchback and sport utility vehicle (SUV). It also plans to produce electric powered pick-ups, mini-trucks and multipurpose vehicles.
The new initiative is set to bring dramatic change in the transport sector opting change to electric vehicles from fossil fuel powered vehicles in roads.
The total investment for the project will reach $1 billion within the next five years. Leading local telecom service provider Mango Teleservices Ltd holds a majority share in BAIL initially established in November 2017.
Electric engine is efficient and environment friendly rechargeable by battery packs instead of using fossil fuel to run it. Globally, the use of electric caris on the rise.
At the end of 2018, it stood at 4.6 percent, almost double from what it was in 2017, according to the Centre of Automotive Management (CAM), a research and consultancy institute based in Germany.
China is leading in electric car use, followed by the US, Norway, Japan and the UK. By 2025, electric cars will account for one-fourth of all new registrations, according to CAM.Within the next 25 years all fossil fuel cars would be gradually replaced by the EVs, it said.
Business firms from The US, China, India and Italy will provide technical and expert support for the facility which will be owned mainly by local Bangladeshis with part of the investment to come from abroad.
The MIrsharaiplant will produce almost 60 percent of the component of the vehicles, including lithium battery, motor, controller, software platform, chassis and body. Internationally acclaimed designers have designed the initial EV models for BAIL, the company official said.
The company will sell an SUV at Tk 25 lakh, sedan at Tk 12 lakh to Tk 15 lakh, hatchback at Tk 8 lakh or even less. The price of the motor cycles will be Tk 50,000 to Tk 1.5 lakh.
The market seems to be small at the moment. “But it will continue to expand as the economy is growing at a steady pace.There is a huge regional and global potential, Mr Kabir said.
He said electric vehicles would cut fuel cost by 90 percent and per kilometre energy cost will be less than Tk 2.Customers may replace their fossil fuel-run vehicles with EVs batteries to lower cost of maintaining the vehicle.
Market analysis suggests BAIL, annual car sales may reach two lakh units by 2025 from about 20,000 units in 2018.
The battery capacity will be 50 kilowatt hour and it will cost Tk 400 to fully charge an EV each time as per the existing electricity tariff.With a twenty-minute charge, our EVs can run 400km. Cars can be charged at home with a regular connection or at a quick charging station.

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