Upcoming EV roadmap project
Upcoming EV roadmap project
National master plan for building confidence
An electric vehicle on display at the Thailand International Motor Expo. Automakers are ready to invest in electric vehicle charging stations in Thailand. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
The government is preparing a roadmap for electric vehicle (EV) production in Thailand within three years, said Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.
The roadmap will serve as a national master plan for electric vehicles and is due to be finalized this year, he said.
Uttama has discussed the matter with Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit, but other agencies and the Energy and Transport ministries have yet to be involved in the talks.
The roadmap is expected to boost the confidence of automakers who want to get into electric vehicle manufacturing in Thailand, as they have called for clear government policy, investment criteria and incentives to boost electric vehicle production here.
Infrastructure such as charging stations and logistics for recharging electric vehicles must also have a clear plan.
There are many charging models around the world, such as those from Japan, Germany, and the United States, but any model chosen must meet Thailand’s safety standards, Uttama said.
The country’s electricity supply must also be taken into consideration, the finance minister said.
Automakers are ready to invest in electric vehicle charging stations in Thailand, but they want to know what kind of support the government will provide.
“The automotive industry has been transformed by digital technology companies engaged in automotive production,” Mr. Uttama said.
State officials are keen to make Thailand’s auto industry a regional hub for electric vehicles, placing the sector among the 12 industries targeted under the S-curve policy.
The EV program was launched by the Board of Investment (BoI) in March 2017 to encourage investment requests from car manufacturers. Eligible electric vehicles are hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-powered versions.
The BoI reported that 13 companies have been granted EV privileges, including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, SAIC Motor-CP, FOMM, Mitsubishi and Mine Mobility.
Mr Uttama said the master plan has been drafted to some extent.
To encourage consumers to switch to EVs on a large scale, the prices of EVs, which are more expensive than gasoline vehicles, need to be addressed in the master plan.
Mr Uttama pointed out that Hong Kong was a place where the government offered discounts to buyers of electric vehicles for three years.
He said the proposals for all tourist buses running in Bangkok to be electric vehicles and for electric cars to make up 15% of new cars purchased by state agencies will be submitted to the relevant authorities for approval.