The Thailand government is ramping up its efforts to promote the take up of electric vehicles in the country, and has several measures planned, according to energy minister Sontirat Sontijirawong.
In a report by Bangkok Post, Sontirat said the government is studying tax waivers, discounts and partial subsidies to attract vehicle buyers. “Many relevant state agencies have to further discuss the EV incentives, with meetings planned between representatives from the finance, industry and energy ministries, as well as the Board of Investment,” he said.
The decision to outline such measures comes following a meeting between the energy ministry and the Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand (EVAT), where the latter called for the government to step up its progress in developing an EV roadmap to create a local market that is up to date with rapid improvements in EVs globally.
Beyond promoting demand of EVs, the energy ministry is also looking at introducing support policies for the production and supply chain of EVs to help determine new output of lithium-ion energy storage and core components parts used in EVs.
Efforts to promote the EV industry in Thailand began since March 2017, with the government offering investment privileges (since expired in 2018) to companies. This has attracted roughly 20-30 applications from carmakers (like Nissan, Mitsubishi and Mercedes-Benz), OEMs and newcomers in the EV industry, but EVAT says the current arrangement doesn’t offer much in the way of incentives on the demand side of things.
The Thailand government previously announced that it is aiming to have 1.2 million EVs on roads and 690 charging stations by 2036. However, Sontirat said the government would revise its EV projection to be more practical, with an adjusted figure to be revealed after discussions with relevant parties.
Beyond just the supply and demand of EVs, there’s also the country’s power supply to consider, which has a surplus capacity of 30%, and is expected to hit 40% in the next few years.
With the demand of EVs expected to go up with the implementation of these measures, the government is hoping much of the excess capacity is soaked up. Additionally, it plans to set up an electricity rate to support the development of EV charging stations, while revising certain regulations and conditions that are barriers to EV implementation.