Brazil going green amid US$8bn local EV production plans
Brazil is turning the page toward electric vehicles (EV) with nearly US$8 billion in private sector investments aimed at kicking off the production of new EV models and their components on Brazilian soil in 2024.
In addition to new EV models from traditional legacy brands such as Audi (Q8 e-tron), BMW (iX1, i7), Chevrolet (Bolt), Fiat (500e Abarth), Ford (Mach E), Mercedes Benz (EQE SUV), Renault (Megane E-tech) coming to the Brazilian market in 2023, three automakers will start producing EVs locally in the country in 2024.
While US-based Argentine owned BMC (Bravo Motor Company) is investing US$5bn in local production, Chinese automaker GWM (Great Wall Motors) is injecting some US$2bn toward production, and its Chinese counterpart BYD (Build Your Dreams) is investing approximately US$600mn, the latter two taking place in existing factories.
In partnership with US-based Rockwell Automation and Swiss company ABB, Bravo Motor Company is currently building a BRL 25 billion (US$5bn) electric mobility complex in the metropolitan region of Minas Gerais state capital Belo Horizonte.
Located in the city of Nova Lima and set to start production in 2024, it will likely be the first Gigafactory in operation in Latin America which entails the production of EVS, their batteries and other components for electric mobility.
The facility is expected to start by producing 22,790 EVs per year but capacity is expected to gradually expand until its completion date in 2029. Plans also call to produce 43,750 lithium battery kits per year. The company is focused on urban work vehicles such as taxis, vans, delivery vehicles, and buses.
The BeTaxi EV (copyright: Bravo Motor Company)
Great Wall Motors is investing 10bn reais (US$2bn) in vehicle production over the next decade (2022-2032), being BRL 4bn by 2025 and BRL 6bn by 2032. It will take place at a factory previously owned by Mercedes Benz in the city of Iracemápolis (Sao Paulo state).
By the second semester of 2024, the company is planning to produce 100,000 vehicles per year.
A large part of the automaker’s focus will be on producing EVs with new technologies such as facial recognition and artificial intelligence (AI). The company also boasts ADAS features like automatic braking and other 5G capable semi-autonomous technologies. Among the models to look out for in 2023 are the Haval H6 and Poer pickups.
2023 GWM Haval H6 hybrid SUV, launched in Brazil in Februrary 2023 (courtesy of GWM)
One of the largest EV manufacturers in the world, BYD is investing BRL 3bn (US$600mn) to build three industrial plants located at a former Ford facility in the metropolitan region of Bahia state capital Salvador.
Located in the city of Camaçari, upcoming infrastructure includes facilities for vehicle assembly, parts production, and the processing of lithium and iron phosphate. Vehicle production is slated to start in the second semester of 2024, which includes chassis for electric buses and trucks as well as the building of EVs and hybrid vehicles.
A total of seven EV and hybrid models will be manufactured at the facility which is expected to have a capacity to produce 150,000 vehicles per year. Among the models to look out for are the Yuan Plus, Dolphin, and Seagul.
BYD full-electric Dolphin hatchback, launched in Brazil in June 2023 (courtesy of BYD)
For more insight on vehicle fleet and mobility throughout all of Latin America, come to Mexico City from 25-26 September, the location of the 2023 Fleet LatAm Conference and Fleet LatAm Awards.
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