The Thailand government has been making efforts to have Thailand become a hub for production of electric vehicles (EVs) and EV components in the Southeast Asian region, according to industry sources.
In a bid to boost local production of EVs, the Thailand government has lowered the customs tariff rate for EVs from 8% originally to 2% at present in exchange for foreign EV vendors/makers' promise to produce EVs in Thailand in the future, the sources said. In addition, the Thailand government has offered THB150,000 (US$4,154) to subsidize the purchase of an EV.
The reduction in customs tariff and subsidization is forecast to push up domestic EV sales to more than 10,000 units in 2022, 4 times the number of EVs sold in 2021, according to the Federation of Thai Industries. The Thailand government aims to have EVs take up 30% of domestic car output in 2030.
To match the promotion of EV production, the Thailand government in 2021 decided to invest THB192 million in the production of EV-use zinc-ion batteries in the Eastern Economic Corridor.
In the private sector, Global Power Synergy under PTT Group will invest THB2.7 billion to set up an EV battery factory and the corresponding supply chain in the corridor.
“We will not only build an EV battery plant and develop EV battery technology but will also create an EV value chain and integrated ecosystem, which is key to our goal of becoming a leading EV-producing country in the region,” said Buranin Rattanasombat, senior executive vice president of PTT Group, in an interview with Nikkei Asia.
Thailand-based renewable energy startup Energy Absolute (EA) will invest THB2.0 billion to target a capacity of 2 GWh per year for batteries used in electric buses, trucks, and ferry boats. Besides, its subsidiary, Amita Technologies, also invested in battery production to achieve a capacity of 400 MWh per year for batteries in energy storage systems.
Thailand-based renewable energy operator BCPG has invested THB772 million for a capacity of 1,000 MWh annually for vanadium redox batteries.
According to Nikkei Asia, the annual EV-use battery production capacity in Thailand will reach 430,000 batteries at the end of 2022.