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-Stepen Tsoroti/ Lovemore Lubinda

The 12k Energy Group’s African Electric Vehicle (EV) maker Aluta Motor Company will soon officially lay the foundation stone at Aluta – Park, in Rufunsa & Luapula Province of Zambia.

One of, if not the biggest EV plant in the region, will be a smart electric vehicle industrial park measuring 16950-acre.

The park will feature three main function areas, smart manufacturing, Research and Development (R&D) and living space, as well as the eco-park.

12k Energy Group’s Aluta Park is going to be a smart electric vehicle industrial cluster encompassing innovative research and development of electric vehicles, core parts and components to EV driving.

“We seek to become a pioneering innovation chain in four countries, with global competitiveness and a hub for several of key supporting enterprises and a highly-clustered full-fledged industry chain.

“Aluta – Park aspires to be green and environmentally friendly and contribute to peaking carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality,” Group Chief Executive Officer Prof Blessing Chitsenga.

He said the park aims to be an innovative highland for top-notch talents, to accommodate over 1,000 R&D personnel and 4,000 technical workers for South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“In our 1st Five-Year Plan, Lusaka province and Luapula Province, Zambia will focus on constructing strategic emerging industry clusters and establishing a new industrial innovation highland with global influence.

“The kickoff of Aluta-Park will be a significant step towards the vision. The regional HQ will be located in Lusaka,” he said.

Professor Chitsenga said the Botswana cluster will churn out an annual production capacity of 30.000 vehicles and 100 GWh of Lithium batteries.

“The 12k Green eMobility Park will see the production of entry level Electric Vehicles in Gaborone, Botswana.

“The Park Ride City cluster production facility will churn out a yearly throughput rate of 60% of all our commercial vehicles and electric buses in Chishawasha, Harare, Zimbabwe,” he added.

He said the group’s projections is that as of 2030, the motoring public will not be able to buy a new internal combustion vehicle, adding that their timescales at a group level are very short.

“Our peers in EV manufacturing sector have made bold commitment to go fully electric. The combustion engine is about R68,500 cost to the manufacturer, but the battery pack is about R150,000.

“Depending on where you bring that battery pack from Asia or China, then you bring that vehicle and export the vehicle from our centres then there’s not enough value addition. That is why we are setting up 12k Battery- Chem in Mansa Luapula, Zambia,” he explained.

He pointed out that had the group not sort out the 12k Battery -Chem gigaplant, it could not have announced its manufacturing EVs bases locally.

“We could have been relocating to countries that already produce batteries for the vehicles. So 12k Battery-Chem will be focused on the high end performance sector of batteries going forward,” he said.

While there is too much energy needed to produce car batteries and the fact that many of the countries that produce them still rely on fossil fuels for power, the average electric vehicle will have to drive around 40,000 miles using only electricity generated by renewable sources to offset the carbon that went into its production.

“12k Battery-Chem has a more efficient method to produce batteries, and that all the energy used by the factory would come from renewable sources – something ‘vital’ if net zero targets are to be met.

“We also announced that our subsidiary 12k Battery – Chem signed a tri-party framework agreement with All Spark-Power to cooperate on the Zambia EV Battery Integration Project. The projects, with a total investment amount of almost $200M consist of projects in the power battery industry chain including nickel mining and smelting, battery materials, battery manufacturing and battery recycling,” said Prof Chitsenga.

According to the group, this is the latest development in 12k Energy’s expansion into Southern Africa markets, as the company’s first African plant in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“We hope to be awarded an 8 GWh battery cell production license shortly in 2022.

About 12k Energy Group:

12k Energy Group is a company that is committed to the development of efficient and sustainable solutions in its operations and in the integrated offers to its customers that creates simple, flexible, and competitive solutions for the energy or mobility needs of large industries, as well as small and medium-sized businesses and individual consumers.

12k Energy Group´s offer includes various types of energy – from electricity produced from renewable sources to natural gas and solar solutions. As a car manufacturer the company is focused on Entry level EVs and Commercial vehicles, Buses and eMobility including three wheeler scooters.

12k Energy Group contributes to the economic development of the 10 countries it operates and to the social progress of the communities.