This news comes as a game-changer as several companies had planned to invest in making EVs in Bangladesh
Omega Seiki, a member of the India-based Anglian Omega Network, has plans to set up a manufacturing plant for electric vehicles (EV) with Rs 100 crore.
The company said in a statement issued yesterday that the plant would run under the name Omega Seiki Mobility OSM-Bangladesh, and will be its third manufacturing plant overall, and first one set up overseas.
This news comes as a game-changer as several companies had planned to invest in making EVs in Bangladesh, including leading Bangladeshi conglomerate Nitol-Niloy Group, who apparently retreated from their plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We trust that our vehicles will cater to an impressive response in the neighboring country. Bangladesh at present does not have an EV policy but it may change fast," said Uday Narang, chairman of Omega Seiki Mobility.
The vehicles manufactured in Bangladesh will be sold under the OSM brand through local partners and franchises.
"With electrification happening fast in automotive markets globally, we see it is time for the Bangladesh market to change as well. The transition in 2 and 3 wheelers will be fast as they contribute to the pollution and traffic chaos," said Deb Mukherji, managing director of Omega Seiki.
The company's vehicles will be powered by lithium ion batteries and with powertrains, which would be built in Bangladesh with technology transfer from India, he also said.
"In due course, we are looking at full localisation in Bangladesh. We would also be looking to export from Bangladesh to global locations e.g. ASEAN, Africa, etc. Bangladesh has a zero-tax policy for exports to 39 countries. This includes India as well and we are looking at selling in the northeast from there," Mukherji added.
Nitol Motor's Suvare electric cars were announced amidst grand plans to introduce eco-friendly automobiles in Bangladesh, but the pandemic changed its course, according to the company's chairman Abdul Matlub Ahmad.
"As per new target, we will bring the EV within next two and a half years," he told the media in November last year.
During the initial announcement, it was said that the locally designed 25-Kwh battery-electric car will have the size and feel of regular sedans and will cost about Tk 10 lakh to Tk 12 lakh
The company has already finished the construction of the assembly plant building on 10 acres of land in Pabna. The plant, currently awaiting installation of machinery, will be able to annually produce 20,000 EVs. The total set-up of the plant is estimated to be Tk 350 crore.
Another budding EV market player, Bangladesh Auto Industries, is building an EV manufacturing plant at Bangabandhu Industrial Park.
The company planned to invest $200 million with total investment for the project reaching $1 billion within the next five years.
But even those plans were derailed by the pandemic.