Sumitomo to invest in Taiwan's top electric bus maker

14, Nov. 2019

An undated photo shows an electric bus made by Taiwan’s RAC Electric Vehicles Inc. (Photo courtesy of Sumitomo Corp.)
An undated photo shows an electric bus made by Taiwan’s RAC Electric Vehicles Inc. (Photo courtesy of Sumitomo Corp.)

TAIPEI, NNA - Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. will inject some 500 million yen ($4.5 million) by February 2020 to acquire a 6.7 percent stake in Taiwan's top electric bus maker, RAC Electric Vehicles Inc.

The two will seek to capitalize on the Taiwan government's plan to replace 15,000 conventional buses with electric vehicles by 2030 with a budget of NT$30 billion ($980 million), the Tokyo-based company said.

RAC is the only firm to have the government's license on electric buses. The deal came after the firms' cooperation on batteries for electric vehicles, a Sumitomo spokesman told NNA on Tuesday.

Sumitomo is also involved in the electric motorcycle business in Taiwan but it is comparatively easier to enter the electric bus business, he said.

“While electric motorcycles require a wide network of charging stations, electric busses only require charging facilities at terminal stations to be operational,” he said.

He said that in future they plan to sell electric buses outside Taiwan as well, without disclosing further details.

RAC's buses have the advantage of efficiency, hill-climbing ability and accuracy when it comes to remote monitoring of battery levels, according to Sumitomo. They have a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour, compared to other electric buses that usually have a top speed of 60 to 70 kph, the company said. (NNA/Kyodo)