Tesla to launch in Thailand this month

Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors aims to launch in Thailand this month after a period of recruiting in the kingdom. The company will sell electric vehicles (EVs) in Thailand.

Tesla registered as a company in Thailand in May this year with an initial registered capital of 3 million baht.

The company is releasing two cars initially, the Model 3 and Model Y, starting at a price of 1.75 million baht. Both models are ready to be delivered to owners in early 2023.

In September, Tesla Company Thailand advertised 20 positions based in Bangkok such as home-charging developer, charging infrastructure lead, technicians, store managers, and customer service reps.

The company’s expansion into Thailand comes after its plans to expand into India were foiled by tariff disputes and efforts to downsize its workforce by 10% amid recession concerns. Tesla is expected to sell, but not produce or assemble, EVs in Thailand.

Billionaire and new owner of Twitter Elon Musk faces stiff competition from EV sellers and producers already active in Thailand. Chinese companies such as Great Wall Motor and Hozon Auto are currently dominating the EV market in Thailand.

Tesla’s arrival in Thailand aligns with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s policy to push the use of EVs in Thailand to reduce carbon emissions.

In March, the government approved a budget of 3 million baht to subsidise the selling price of EVs for customers in Thailand and installed free-to-use charging stations in Bangkok’s Benjakitti Park.

Great Wall Motor and MG Camp joined the government’s initiative and other EV producers and sellers have expressed interest in joining such as Benz, BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Foxconn, and Neta.

EVs are gaining interest in Thailand. However, Thailand will need to ramp up efforts to install EV charging stations around the nation if PM Prayut’s vision of a carbon-free society is to come to fruition.

In July, Phuket in southern Thailand welcomed Thailand’s first-ever rentable electric vehicle – the Nissan Leaf. The vehicle can be rented from SIXT Thailand.

SIXT Thailand partnered with InterContinental Phuket Resort and agreed to install a series of EV charging stations compatible with any EVs at their resort at Kamala Bay, on the west coast of the island.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.