Car manufacturing could soon return to South Australia, with two separate electric vehicle companies selecting the state as their future production bases in the same week.
Australian start-up ACE-EV signed a partnership agreement with Aldom Motor Body Builders in Adelaide’s north to assemble its planned range of electric light commercial and passenger vehicles.
The first model to launch will be the Cargo, a compact van with 500kg payload and up to 200km of battery range.
Its lightweight carbon-fibre body will initially be produced overseas and assembled by Aldom from kits, with around 25 per cent of each vehicle being made from Australian-made content. ACE-EV’s goal is for its vehicle bodies to also be produced locally, with 50 per cent of components made in Australia.
Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD, in which US investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company holds a 25 per cent stake, has signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate with Adelaide-based start-up Evant on the development and production of electric vehicles in South Australia.
Like ACE-EV, Evant’s ultimate aim is to achieve complete vehicle manufacture and assembly to Australia. Evant is led by former Tesla manufacturing director Christian Reynolds.
Models to be produced in Australia include a seven-seat large SUV that is expected to be based on the BYD Tang (pictured below), a mid-size SUV and a sedan similar to the Tesla Model 3.
Evant is backed by Fusion Capital, a major investor in Brabham Automotive.