Since the announcement by Shai Agassi's Project Better Place in March 2008 that it had chosen Denmark as its European roll-out country for electric vehicles (EV), auto manufacturers from every corner of the world have been queuing up to launch EVs here. Now comes news that another market player – Taiwan's Amita – has been attracted to the country to set up battery production for the European EVs of the future.
Amita, a subsidiary of the world's largest battery manufacturer GP Batteries, has just entered an agreement with two Danish entrepreneurs Brian Hoehl and Lars Munksø to establish a battery factory in Denmark. Hoehl and Munksø, who have previously collaborated with Amita on batteries for electric-powered bicycles and scooters, will head Positive Energies, a newly founded company of which Amita owns 20%. Additional investors are expected to be in place in a few months.
Amita MD Jim Cherng told financial daily newspaper Børsen, which reports the news, that he expects the factory will produce around 40,000 EV batteries annually from 2011.
"We intend to establish a factory that produces 3,000 to 4,000 EV batteries per month. It might not sound of so much, but that is actually a relatively large battery facility, since they are large batteries with lots of battery cells."
Amita, which also plans to open similar factories in China and the US, says it is no coincidence that its European factory is being placed in Denmark.
"The Danish government has created a really good business environment for EVs. The tax exemption of EVs (certainly until 2012, and probably beyond –Ed) is very important for the spread of the vehicles. That is why we have chosen Denmark, " says Cherng.
The entire battery production concept from Amita's current battery factory in Taiwan will be copied and implemented in Denmark. The batteries are produced as modules which can be coupled in series depending on how long a driving radius customers want.