Govt unveils fresh tax breaks for electric vehicle makers

Govt unveils fresh tax breaks for electric vehicle makers

A woman holds a cable to charge up a Renault Kangoo ZE electric utility vehicle at a Renault automobile dealership in Cagnes-Sur-Mer, France, Oct 22, 2020. (Reuters file photo)
A woman holds a cable to charge up a Renault Kangoo ZE electric utility vehicle at a Renault automobile dealership in Cagnes-Sur-Mer, France, Oct 22, 2020. (Reuters file photo)

The government has approved a slew of new incentives covering electric cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles and ships to promote local production of electric vehicles (EV) and its supply chain.

The new package, approved by the nation’s Board of Investment chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, includes a three-year tax holiday for manufacturers of plug-in hybrid vehicles and an eight-year corporate income tax waiver for battery electric vehicle makers.

The incentives, which replace a set of benefits that expired in 2018, “will accelerate the development of EV production and related supply chain in Thailand, and allow the entire sector to move into higher gear,” Duangjai Asawachintachit, the board’s secretary general, said in a statement.

Thailand, already Southeast Asia’s car production hub, is seeking to position itself as a centre for battery-powered vehicles as countries compete to lure investment by global automakers. The nation’s combination of policies and incentives are the most advanced in the region, according to BNEF.

Key details of the package are:

  • Four-wheel vehicle manufacturers must invest a minimum of 5 billion baht  to be eligible for the tax breaks
  • Those investing less than 5 billion baht will get a three-year tax holiday
  • Companies investing to produce motorcycles, three-wheelers, buses and trucks will be entitled to a three-year corporate income tax exemption
  • Manufacturers of electric-powered ships with less than 500 gross tonnage will get an eight-year corporate income tax waiver
  • For critical parts including high-voltage harness, reduction gear, battery cooling system and regenerative breaking system, projects will receive an eight-year corporate tax exemption
  • Projects for production of battery modules and cells for local market will get a 90% reduction in import duties for two years on raw or essential materials not available in Thailand
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