TÜV SÜD is participating in the construction of a battery test centre near Bangkok in Thailand. The German testing and certification service provider has now signed a corresponding cooperation agreement with the local Ministry of Industry and the Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI).
For a total investment of 13.5 million euros, the “largest and most modern test centre for Li-ion batteries in the ASEAN region” is to be built in Thailand, according to an accompanying press release from TÜV Süd. ASEAN is short for Association of Southeast Asian Nations and is thus an association of Southeast Asian countries. The new laboratory is to be ready for operation at the beginning of 2020 and will be embedded in a new automotive test centre just outside Bangkok. According to TÜV SÜD, it supplies “the technical benchmarks and experience from eight currently active battery laboratories worldwide”.
With the cooperation in Thailand, TÜV SÜD is closing the gap between the battery laboratories in Korea and Japan and the test laboratories that are currently being set up in China. The laboratory will focus on testing traction batteries for electric vehicles for use under tropical conditions, but stationary storage systems and batteries for electric two-wheelers will also be tested.
TÜV SÜD is convinced that the ASEAN states promise a gigantic automotive market in the future. Thailand is the largest production location in the region. “German manufacturers are already building electric plug-in vehicles in Thailand, and battery systems have also been manufactured in Thailand since 2019,” says Volker Blandow, Head of Electromobility at TÜV SÜD. “And many suppliers are already operating research and development centres there.” Indeed, the Aachen-based vehicle development service provider FEV, among others, recently founded a Thai subsidiary. Daimler and Asian carmakers such as Nissan, Honda and Toyota have also recently turned to Thailand as a production location.