Georgian industrial holding Aigroup has announced that it will build an electric cars factory near the city of Kutaisi, in western Georgia, the first such plant in the South Caucasus region.
According to Georgia Today, Aigroup will start the construction in partnership with Chinese state-owned car manufacturer Chang’an. The project features a manufacturing plant, which will be followed by the construction of painting and welding facilities, as well as a factory for solar panels.
“Some time ago, [we] promised that Georgia would be the first electric car manufacturer in the region. Today, I am honoured to announce this project and say that we are fulfilling the promise,” said Georgian economy minister Natia Turnava.
Speaking at a conference in Kutaisi, Kakha Guledani, chairman of the board of directors of Aigroup, said the factory would employ 300 people in the initial phase, expanding to around 3,000 in the long term.
“The aim of the project is to prepare Georgian production quickly and get it on foreign markets,” said Giorgi Khurodze, general director of Aicar, the electric car sharing arm of Aigroup. Initially, four electric car models will be manufactured, with a significant share produced for export to the EU market. The plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 40,000 cars, with Kutaisi soon to become the eighth city in the world to offer electric car sharing services for its citizens.