A Thai-based renewable energy technology company, Energy Absolute, plans to invest $3 billion in a battery ‘gigafactory’, hedging on Southeast Asia’s uptake of electric vehicles and smart grids. The factory’s development plan is divided into two phases. The first features a plant with a production capacity of 1GWh, which is slated to open in Q3 of 2019. Energy Absolute is expected to finance an investment of around 4 billion baht ($119 million) with its own capital. The company aims to increase the capacity to 50GWh in the second phase. This step will make the plant larger than Japanese electronics maker Panasonic’s 35GWh factory for US electric car maker Tesla in the state of Nevada. The firm’s deputy CEO, Amorn Sapthaweekul, told local media, Nikkei Asian News, that the company is in talks with a number of Thai energy companies, including state-owned oil and gas group PTT, to share the investment. Energy Absolute also plans to set up 1,000 charging stations for electric cars in Bangkok and elsewhere by the end of the year, before moving to the battery market.