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Thailand jumps on the electric bandwagon, aims to become EV production hub

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr / JCT 600

The Thai government has ambitious plans to turn the Kingdom into a Southeast Asian hub for the manufacture of electric vehicles. Nikkei Asia reports that big companies in Thailand are preparing to invest substantially in the greener mode of transport, after the National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee suggested a new manufacturing target could mean half of Thailand’s auto-production is made up of electric vehicles by 2030.

The message to car manufacturers and energy suppliers is to grab this opportunity to invest in the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicles, as the number of drivers using such cars is expected to rise significantly. The Thailand Board of Investment says that between 2017 and 2019, investment in EV production and its infrastructure reached 79 billion baht. That figure is expected to rise at a much quicker rate over the next 3 years.

According to the Nikkei Asia report, Toyota was the first car manufacturer to make EVs in the Kingdom, with Chinese manufacturers becoming more competitive in recent years. The latest Chinese firm to join the EV revolution is Great Wall Motor, which plans to launch electric vehicles this year. The number of EV manufacturers in Thailand is also growing, but Surapong Phaisitpattanapong from the Federation of Thai Industries’ Automotive Industry Club says they still need to overcome serious supply chain challenges. He says manufacturers of the traditional internal combustion engine now find themselves trying to supply parts for electric vehicles, including batteries, motors and converters.

“It’s all about the economy of scale. If the number of EV users goes up substantially, it would be worth investing, and everyone, including auto parts makers, would be ready to switch to producing EV parts, and that would create supply chains that are ready for the development of EVs, but it will take time.”

Surapong points out that the government hasn’t provided enough subsidies to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles, saying there needs to be more of an incentive to deliver the sales boost needed.

“We think there should be a more direct subsidy for EV buyers to promote EVs, but we haven’t seen the government issue any kind of subsidies like that yet.”

SOURCE: Nikkei Asia

 

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Macman

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Oooh. Another hub!

  2. Avatar

    Macman

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Thailand jumps on the global slogan bandwagon and intends to become the “hub of all hubs” ?

  3. Avatar

    Michael

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Just another distraction after failing to become a Covid vaccine hub!

  4. Avatar

    Steve

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 10:56 am

    The Mother of all hubs, Thai love slogans so “Lets all Hub together”.

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Another plan! Along with the canal across the country, buying submarines, and the space shot.
    The only hub Thailand is achieving is a hub of corruption, and inefficiency.
    These Japanese companies establishing themselves in Thailand will soon have everything taken off them, because of hiring illegal labour, trespassing on government land, or harming the environment.
    They are dealing with devils.

  6. Avatar

    Ted

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:19 am

    As Thailand already is the leading car manufactory in SEA, to me it feels like a pretty easy step to be the leading EV manufacturer, as well.

    As I have written here a couple of times before, to manufacture EVs is one thing, to have a working infrastructure to enable drivers to use them, as vehicles is being used today, is a totally different one.

    And if Thailand will use its “import tax scheme” [call it what you want] for cars build, market and sold within its own boarders, not forgetting [modern] EVs are new and popular, which also will help to increase the price. My prediction is that the jet ski market will be much bigger, then the EV market will be, in this country, before some major changes are done.

  7. Avatar

    Ian Jones

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Electric cars built in Thailand, that’s more likely than Electric cars been driven in Thailand… Can’t see how Thailand would build infrastructure for charging the cars, even if the have great potential using solar power.

    Big dreams, a colorful banner, a press release, then nothing…

  8. Avatar

    Ted

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Difficult to be the manufacture leader of EVs in SEA, coming from the vehicle manufactory leader Thailand already area….aah NO! Better they comes back [with believable execution plans] to be the SEA EV infrastructure leader.

  9. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.

    Thailand is unprepared, and in my opinion, will prove itself incompetent when it comes to building the necessary infrastructure for charging these vehicles.

    When CNG was the rage, they had only one vendor, PTT. Large areas of the country are uncovered with fueling stations if this is what you need.

    I might buy a hybrid, but here, I think it would be foolish to go buy an all-electric vehicle without the proper infrastructure already in place.

    Even in California, electric car heaven, 1 in 5 electric owners switched back to gasoline because of the charging hassles.

  10. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    “The latest Chinese firm to join the EV revolution is Great Wall Motor, which plans to launch electric vehicles this year.”

    Great Wall Motor bought the GM / Chevrolet factory in Rayong last year when Chevrolet stopped production in Thailand, so that seems to fit in with the plans.

  11. Avatar

    Sierra

    Friday, May 7, 2021 at 6:49 am

    Still waiting for that vaccine hub

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