17 Jan 2022 14:03

Lipetsk's Motorinvest, St. Petersburg startup file bid for first electric vehicle SPIC in Russia

MOSCOW. Jan 17 (Interfax) - The Russian Industry and Trade Ministry has completed the collection of bids for a special investment contract (SPIC) for the production of electric cars, the ministry's press service said.

Two bidders - Motorinvest LLC (Lipetsk Region) and Electromobiles Manufacturing Rus LLC (St. Petersburg) - have submitted their applications.

"According to the terms of the selection, there will be several stages of bid assessment; one or several applications can be recognized as the best. The results of the competitive selection will be summed up by March 5, 2022," the ministry said in a statement.

The SPIC envisages "the introduction or development and implementation of technology for the production of environmentally friendly urban vehicles based on traction motors."

In December, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov announced to journalists that the first bids for a SPIC for production of electric cars would be submitted in January. "At first it will be SKD -[semi knocked down] assembly with further deepening of localization, but in electric vehicles it is a bit easier to organize production and components. There is no combustion engine, no manual or automatic transmission, no rear axles. On the one hand, it's simpler, but on the other hand, it's more complicated in terms of battery capacity. The future lies with whoever will invent a battery with a higher electricity storage capacity than competitors have today," the minister said.

In the summer of 2021, the media reported that an electric car production cluster could appear in the Lipetsk Region, where Chinese Changan crossovers are produced at Motorinvest facilities until 2019. Deputy Industry & Trade Minister Alexander Morozov said earlier that the project was supported by Rosseti and a joint venture agreement could be signed for its implementation.

Meanwhile, in July, Motorinvest received a bankruptcy claim from the Federal Tax Service in the local Arbitration Court of the Lipetsk Region because of debts of 12 million rubles. In the end, the Arbitration Court refused to consider the claim, having found no signs of the company's bankruptcy. However, this did not make the legal entity for potential manufacturing of electric cars any more convincing. According to the SPARK-Interfax analytical system, since 2014, the company has been operating at a loss, with revenues are steadily decreasing - from 640 million rubles in 2014 to a symbolic 8 million rubles at the end of the Covid year of 2020, in which it posted a loss of 235.6 million rubles.

According to SPARK-Interfax, the St. Petersburg company Electromobiles Manufacturing Rus was founded in June 2021 and is owned by two individuals - Igor Gridin (55%) and Ilya Rashkin (45%).