UK investment fund Quorus Ventures will open Bulgaria's first factory for electric cars by the end of 2010.
This has been announced by Encho Enev, a Bulgarian consultant to the British investor, as cited by Darik Radio.
The plant will be opened in the southern Bulgarian city of Stara Zagora. The precise sum of the investment has not been specified but it is expected to be at least several million euro plus funding from EU programs.
The intention of Quorus Ventures to build an electric car plant in Bulgaria was announced by Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov in February 2010 during his visit to the UK.
The British fund has picked Stara Zagora for its investment because of the availability of qualified laborers there.
The factory is going to produce two types of electric cars at first – family-type and sports-type. They will be able to run for 300 km with one charging of their batteries; the expenditures per 100 km will be about EUR 1.5, or BGN 3, which is about 10 times cheaper than the average cars of gas.
The first cars to be assembled in the new factory will be a four-seat ZCV-4 and a two-seat ZCV-2. Enev has said that at a later stage the plant could employ technologies and assembly lines developed by Bulgarian companies.
The new plant should be opened in November-December 2010 even though it has not been constructed yet. The British investor has decided on its location on a plot of 8 000 square meters; according to Enev, this can grow into an industrial part of 70 hectares in the future.
The future factory will be producing about 10 000 electric cars annually, and will employ 300 people.
Quorus Ventures is reported to be moving its operations from Austria to Bulgaria because of the cheaper labor and better tax conditions.
At a later stage, the fund plans to build electric vans and electric buses for up to 60 people; these two vehicles are still being developed.
Quorus Ventures is said to be focused on green technologies for machinery and waste disposal.
The fund hopes that by 2020, 20% of all cars in Europe will be electric. The sales and distribution of the electric cars produced in Stara Zagora will be carried out by a commercial firm selected by Quorus Ventures.