Slovak-made electric cars?

THE VLKANOVÁ based company HTMAS wants to manufacture electric cars. In early June it unveiled plans to launch the licensed production of the Italian Grecav Sonique electric car in 2013. At the beginning it aims to assemble 2,000 vehicles annually, the Sme daily wrote.

An electric car in VlkanováAn electric car in Vlkanová (Source: Sme- Ján Krošlák)

THE VLKANOVÁ based company HTMAS wants to manufacture electric cars. In early June it unveiled plans to launch the licensed production of the Italian Grecav Sonique electric car in 2013. At the beginning it aims to assemble 2,000 vehicles annually, the Sme daily wrote.

“Slovakia cannot compete with carmakers in the development of diesel and petrol engines, but in the case of electric cars these might be of Slovak origin,” said Maroš Hudoba, the legal representative of HTMAS as cited by the daily. Hudoba would like to move the licensed production project into research and development. The group around Hudoba is cooperating with a Croatian energy company on the development of a new electric engine to be manufactured in Vlkanová in central Slovakia. They are also negotiating with a Chinese producer of batteries to move part of its production to Slovakia.

“Apart from wheels, glass and for now batteries, the electric car would be manufactured in Vlkanová,” said Hudoba. “Along with this we want to carry out our own research and development from the propulsion system via the design up to charging. The second generation would be an exclusive Slovak R&D.”

Hudoba wants to win state support for the project in the form of venture capital and thus the assistance would cost the state nothing.

“Each country has its venture funds,” said Hudoba. “We have proposed the state to enter the project with venture capital. We would pay back everything.”

The Economy Ministry appreciates that Hudoba is not requiring non-returnable assistance, but said that there is not enough venture capital available in the Fond Fondov (the venture capital fund established by the National Agency for Development of Small and Medium sized Enterprises). It is now looking for a solution which would suit the businessman as well as the state budget. Vlkanová sits in a locality where investors can only receive a tax break when investing in industrial production.

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