Thunder Power announces an initial investment of €80M and the creation of 200 jobs in Catalonia with the opening of an electric vehicle R&D centre
- The technology group, headquartered in Hong Kong and which will begin to produce in China its first electric vehicle model at the end of 2018, is contemplating Catalonia as the best location for a second phase construction of its European manufacturing plant with over 1,000 workers.
- The R&D centre the company expects to open in 2018 will focus on product engineering related to the development of new models of the brand.
- Thunder Power has presented the alpha prototype of the vehicle (a high-end model with a range of 650 km) in Hong Kong during an event in which the Minister Jordi Baiget and the Thunder Power’s CEO signed a collaboration agreement in order to facilitate the entrance of the company into Catalonia.
The international technology group Thunder Power, specialised in the electric vehicle sector and with its headquarters in Hong Kong, has announced this Thursday the opening of an R&D centre in Catalonia, which is expected to be operational in 2018. The company has also announced publicly that it is contemplating Catalonia as the best location to build, in a second phase, a manufacturing plant for the assembly and distribution of the brand’s future vehicle in Europe.
This announcement took place during the presentation of an advanced prototype of the vehicle in Hong Kong. During the session, the Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, and Thunder Power’s CEO, Wellen Sham, signed a collaboration agreement in order to facilitate the entrance of the multinational in Catalonia. The entre investment process of the multinational in Catalonia is receiving the support of the Government of Catalonia through Catalonia Trade & Investment, the area for foreign investment attraction of ACCIÓ.
In first place, the establishment of Thunder Power in Catalonia contemplates the opening in 2018, of an R&D centre in charge of development for the entire brand internationally. The company is at an advanced phase in evaluating the most ideal location for the project, which will represent an initial investment of 80 million euros and the creation of 200 places of work. It will focus on product engineering related to the development of new future models in fields such as chassis, dynamics, transmission systems and battery management, as well as in the field of advanced technologies (lightweight materials and autonomous and connected driving).
In a second phase, the project will contemplate the construction of a manufacturing plant in Catalonia to build and distribute the vehicle throughout Europe. Thunder Power foresees an initial investment of 200 million euros and the creation of 1,000 jobs for the production of the first series of vehicles. Thunder Power’s hub in Catalonia will complement its manufacturing plant located in China—which will begin to build the vehicle at the end of 2018—as well as its central offices in Hong Kong and its Italian design centre.
The car: a range of 650 km
The electric car Thunder Power presented in Hong Kong is a high-end vehicle designed in Italy with European technology and engineering developed in partnership with firms such as Dallara and CSI. The battery has capacity up to 125 kWh and a range of 650 km, and the 320 kWh version can reach top speeds of 240 km/h. The first version of this model was presented in the international Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015.
Boosting foreign investment in Hong Kong
The signing of this collaboration agreement between the Catalan Government and Thunder Power takes place within the celebration of institutional and trade mission, led by Minister Baiget, lasting up to this Friday to China and Hong Kong—which sees the participation of 40 Catalan companies—and with the goal of boosting trade relations and reinforcing the foreign investment in Catalonia. In fact, this Thursday morning, the Minister and the Director General of Industry and CEO of ACCIÓ, Núria Betriu, presented the opportunities to be found in Catalan industry to 70 Hong Kong investors, companies, entrepreneurs and institutions, in an act held in the Chamber of Commerce in that city.