Fleet Mobility Today, July 5, 2024

by Daniel Bland

Bravo Motor Company Brasil Energy (BMC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Bahia and the Municipality of São Sebastião do Passé for the establishment of a Lithium Battery Gigafactory in northeast Brazil.

Valued at 600 million reais (US$109 million), the first phase of the project - known as the Colossus Cluster - will be funded by Development Banks and supplemented by private investors. This phase will enable a production capacity of 1 GWh per year.

Now in a race with the Tesla Gigafactory in Mexico, the Colossus Cluster could be the first in Latin America if delays at Tesla's facilities continue.

Production at the site in Bahia will grow to 5 GWh per year over the next three years, keeping pace with the adoption of technology in the country, according to BMC's Global Business Development Director Jose E Marques.

In addition to the demand from heavy duty vehicles (trucks and buses) and the electric sector overall, demand for the light vehicle industry is expected to reach (conservatively speaking) 45 GWh per year by 2030, one of the largest market drivers.

"We are excited about this historic collaboration which will not only boost the local economy but also position Brazil at the forefront of technological innovation in the lithium battery sector. This project will create thousands of jobs and promote sustainable economic growth," says BMC CEO Eduardo Javier Muñoz.

BMC CEO Eduardo Javier Muñoz assinando em frente de Luciano Giudice Torres, secretário de desenvolvimento econômico da Bahia (handout)

Considered one of the most modern in the Americas, this factory represents a significant advancement in Brazil's energy transition and sustainable economic development, Mr. Marques told Fleet Mobility Today.

The MoU facilitates, supports, and promotes the construction of the Gigafactory, producing lithium battery cells for electric vehicles as well as Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), essential products to ensure Brazil's leadership in the energy transition and decarbonization of the economy.

As part of the deal, the municipality of São Sebastião do Passé signed a memorandum that includes the donation of a 400,000 m² plot of land which is strategically located near federal highway BR-324, some 50 km from Bahia state capital Salvador.

Boasting excellent connectivity to ports and federal highways, the land will be expanded as production capacity increases, providing the ideal base for the start of the Colossus Cluster, said Mr. Marques.

This plant will be a magnet for other industries, whether consumers of batteries or suppliers of materials for their production. Meanwhile, two more agreements to produce critical materials for batteries have already been made.

Additionally, BMC itself plans to install a vehicle manufacturing unit for mobility as a service (taxi, van, and bus) once the battery factory is operational.

Based out of California, BMC has partnerships with global companies such as Rockwell Automation, SMC Automação do Brasil, ABB, Ai-BESS Technology, and EVE Energy Co., Ltd.