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TÜV SÜD has signed a cooperation agreement with Thailand's Ministry of Industry and the Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI) governing the establishment of a battery test centre near Bangkok. The agreement paves the way for building the largest and most modern test centre for Li-ion batteries in the ASEAN region, involving total investments of 13.5 Million Euros.
By establishing this cooperation in Thailand, TÜV SÜD bridges the gap between its battery laboratories in Korea and Japan and the test laboratories it is currently building in China. With the new test centre TÜV SÜD will be able to offer genuine first-class services to our customers in this region at reasonable costs and without excessive bureaucracy. Activities at the test centre will focus on electric drive batteries for electric vehicles, but will also include intensive testing of stationary storage systems and batteries for electric two-wheelers for their use in tropical conditions.
With a total of 650 million inhabitants and increasing levels of prosperity, the countries in the ASEAN region represent a huge vehicle market. The leading country for automotive production is Thailand. German car manufacturers already produce plug-in vehicles in Thailand and in 2019 they started also to manufacture their battery systems on-site. Many suppliers have been operating research and development centres in Thailand, so that 'local content' and knowledge will rise steadily in this area. TÜV SÜD has been contributing technical benchmarks and the experience we have gathered in the eight battery laboratories that we have been operating to date.
The increasing activities in vehicle electrification present many of the newly industrialised countries with the challenge of keeping pace with technological change and avoiding being left behind, which would jeopardise the success built up by their automotive industry over the last 20 years. On the other hand, electromobility offers new economic operators a host of opportunities in a dynamic market environment. Along with electromobility, the governments of ASEAN countries are addressing two of their most pressing issues: air pollution in big cities, and boosting the competitiveness of their still fledgling industry. TÜV SÜD supports economic actors all over the world in developing safe, high-quality products.
Scheduled to start operations in early 2020, the laboratory will be part of a new large-scale automotive test centre just outside Bangkok.