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Thailand aims for only electric vehicles by 2035

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: No word yet on electric tuk tuks.

Thailand has announced an ambitious plan to move to only sell zero-emission electric vehicles by 2035 as it aims to be at the forefront of the electric car market. Right now in Thailand, less than 1% of the vehicles on the road are electric but an advisor to the Energy Ministry’s national policy committee said that it’s clear the world is heading that way and Thailand should grab hold of that market to help recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The country already has a stable supply chain and strong production of conventional automobiles, so it is hoped that the transition to zero-emission vehicles will be successful.

The automotive industry brings in about 10% of Thailand’s economy and supports about 850, 000 employees. Other industries such as plastic, steel, iron, and petrochemicals are all heavily supported by the automotive industry. And 50% of cars produced in Thailand are exported around Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

The ambitious plan to make Thailand an electric vehicle country by 2035 has equally ambitious benchmarks along the way. A previous target of 30% of all vehicles registered to be electric vehicles has been upgraded to 50% by the end of this decade. But phasing out traditional gas guzzlers will require facilitation by the government to make the transition. Creating the appropriate infrastructure, developing regulations for EV manufacturing, and offering both tax incentives to manufacturers and consumer incentives to purchase electric cars will be necessary to push the public and the manufacturing sector to achieve this goal.

The Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand pointed out that letting the transition occur naturally with the growing popularity of electric vehicles may take too long, and that an ambitious target such as this is a good way to attract investors in these new technologies and manufacturing sectors. While zero-emission vehicle adoption is still low in Thailand with only about 1% of vehicles on the road being electric, the EV market has handled the economic ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic much better than the traditional automotive market. Gas-hungry traditional cars saw depressed sales down 26% in 2020, but zero-emission electric vehicles recorded an increase of 1.4% during that same period. With the right implementation and incentivisation, Thailand’s dream of becoming Southeast Asia’s electronic vehicle production hub may be possible.

SOURCE: Bloomburg


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  1. Avatar


    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    Oh dear. No, it is NOT clear that the world is going that way!

  2. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Yes Yes Yes, along with the elimination of malaria, purchasing submarines, a canal across the country and a satellite put into orbit, however before that stop this pandemic!
    If you cannot, forget all your big Thai ideas.

  3. Avatar


    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    Start with Tuk Tuk pls.

  4. Avatar

    David Pilkington

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    Only electric vehicles by 2035, i.e. 14 years from now. Bangkok will still have the same gridlocked streets 14 years from now and we can safely bet that between 50 & 90% of the traffic will be oil-fuelled, i.e. 50% at best and 90% most probably.

    The hopelessly optimistic love that this regime has for making these absurd forecasts will no doubt have regular news readers in stitches, if not the entire planet. And how’s the high-speed railway and EEC projects progressing, having been cruel enough to mention absurd schemes and forecasts?

  5. Avatar

    Ricky Cleats

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    And people who live in condos or apartments are going to charge their batteries where ? Asking for a friend.

  6. Avatar


    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    0 co2 ( global warming ),
    is the same kind as, 0 covid /corona ( virus with vaccine ).

    most “leaders” at, government, ngo, bigger companies, religion many youtubers, etc.
    who support these, 0 emission or similar goals,

    are also pro, gender new-speak, much migration per year,
    fight terror and right-wing-thinkers,

    for arm /weapon export ( at least in western countries ), and
    use money-interest system ( regarding national debts ).

    maybe you get an idea why some people are not liked.

  7. Avatar


    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 12:27 am

    Electric Tuk Tuks are already on the streets in Bangkok.

  8. Avatar


    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 12:28 am

    @Yan you are blind.

  9. Avatar


    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 1:25 am

    They should start with the TUKTUKs right away because even though they are quite nice to ride and cultural icon they are also noisy and polute a lot.

    Maybe the electrical cars will be the solution for the traffic accidents and in many cases the car computer should take over and prevent accidents.

  10. Avatar


    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 3:22 am

    Ahhhh, the hopes and dreams ….like Thailand 4.0, or NO corruption, or happier thai people, or no prostitution in Pattaya, …..why does evwry comment from the government sound like they have never even visited thailand ….or they are lying, though I know they would never lie!!!

  11. Avatar


    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 3:53 am

    I could see that being total chaos. Imagine Thailands roads where you can’t hear the lunatics coming

  12. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 4:01 am

    2035 Really

    Dream on Thailand Gov,nt … By 2035 Thailand will be well and truly part of China
    The revolution and the West powers help with Democracy
    Good Luck Thailand

  13. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 4:45 am

    There have been numerous plans to purge the streets of Bangkok of tuk tuks for decades.the first one I remember was in the 1980’s that stated no more new tuk tuks would be manufactured and they would slowly disapear!we shall see!

  14. Avatar

    Social Observer

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 5:40 am

    Uh… Ok but… Where will all the extra electricity come from to power millions of electric vehicles ? Electricty does not actually come out of a wall socket. It has to be generated somewhere and sent to that socket. Electricity is typically generated by burning fossil fuels. So that won’t change anything.

    • Neill Fronde

      Neill Fronde

      Friday, April 23, 2021 at 8:05 pm

      That may not be a problem.
      “EGAT had said that their current power reserves of about 40% of total capacity are driving up electricity prices, and they plan to cut the reserves to only 15%. This new power generated by the hydro-solar hybrid floating projects may be without a storage home, increasing costs even more to handle the excess capacity. “

  15. Avatar


    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 7:30 am

    My thoughts exactly Ricky [not only THailand and Bkk] where is the infrastructure to charge all of these EVs, since a quick stop at the station wont do it. I can’t understand why international media and the “Elon’s” of the world, don’t see that!

  16. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Following Big Brother, China, as it has set 2035 for its all-electric (or electric hybrid) goal.

    I think the bigger problem is that Thailand is sh** at developing the infrastructure needed for fueling these vehicles.

    All you have to know about their ability to plan and execute something like this is to look at the travesty that is the CNG sector. Thousands upon thousands of vehicles were sold, and even transport trucks were converted to CNG, but there is only one vendor in the country, PTT.

    There are only 427 CNG stations around the country, and when you get outside of Bangkok, they are thin on the ground. Especially in the isthmus traveling south. In Songkhla province there is only 1 now…just 1.

    I have serious doubts that the country has the brains and the wherewithal to create a system of fast-charging stations to meet this goal.

  17. Avatar

    Richard Allen Weaver

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 9:50 am

    Motorcycles ALL motorcycles should be like the small electric things being used by 7/11, for deliveries right now, and limited to 30 kilometers or less in speed.
    And all laws regarding riding them should be strictly enforced, everywhere, not just the big roads.

  18. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 11:31 am

    “…..why does evwry comment from the government sound like they have never even visited thailand”

    “Dream on Thailand govt …”

    Despite the headline (“Thailand aims …) and opening (“Thailand has announced …”) this isn’t from “the government”.

    It’s one person’s personal view, he isn’t part of the “government” and he didn’t “announce” anything but just gave Bloomberg an interview about what he hoped would happen.

  19. Avatar


    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    @Niko – Like Tesla just did?

  20. Avatar


    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    @Richard Allen Weaver – That’s about the stupidest comment I’ve read online today Richard. Give your head a shake!

  21. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    They would be far better off being more practical and using local resources and that way they might achieve some of their goals for a change.why not return to going about in wooden carts pulled by water buffalo and wearing straw hats.a very green achievable alternative.

  22. Avatar

    Stewart Pearson

    Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 8:57 am

    electric vehicles Bangkok won’t be the same without the old buses blowing black smoke out over the capital every day

  23. Avatar

    James R

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 1:46 am

    Simon Small aka Issan John

    So you are saying this article is not correct then? I refer to the first paragraph:

    “……. Thailand has announced an ambitious plan to move to only sell zero-emission electric vehicles by 2035 as it aims to be at the forefront of the electric car marke…”

    Rich Western countries would have its work cut out to achieve that so Thailand has no chance of doing it by that date if ever.

    I mean for example we in the UK vaccinate more people in a couple of days than Thailand has done up to this point, that shows how organised they are.

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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