First it was Elon Musk and then Warren Buffett. Now another titan of industry has thrown his hat into the electric-car ring: Eike Batista, who is said to be the wealthiest person in Brazil.
Last week the 52-year-old industrial magnate announced a plan to set up a company that will build a factory in Brazil capable of producing 100,000 electric vehicles a year within four years, Reuters reported.
"It's going to be a domestically made car with foreign know-how, from Europe and Japan," said Batista, who this year was ranked by Forbes as the world's eighth- richest person. "The trend toward electric cars is irreversible."
Batista said the $1 billion factory will be constructed within the Acu port complex being built in the state of Rio de Janeiro by his own logistics firm. That will create synergies by lowering the cost of importing products and reducing power costs, he said.
"Just because of the logistics in Acu, we save $200 per car," said Batista, owner of the EBX conglomerate, which has subsidiaries involved in mining, oil, electricity generation and logistics. "That's a lot of money."
Batista had little to say about the car he plans to produce, except that some versions will have a driving range up to 75 miles.
He did not say which companies will be partners in the project.