KTB expects total of 1m EVs by 2028
The number of electric vehicles (EVs) in Thailand is expected to reach 1 million in 2028 -- an increase of 24% per year -- with Japanese-made plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to drive the next generation of cars, says Krungthai Compass, a research house under Krungthai Bank (KTB).
Automakers from Japan continue to focus on PHEVs, while demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) is growing slowly.
Mana Nimitvanich, first vice-president of KTB, expects demand for PHEVs to grow and eventually command a 93% market share of total EV sales.
"Thailand saw registrations of EVs increase to 190,000 or around 1% of total cars in 2020," he said.
The number of EVs in the market is expected to increase because global automakers are investing in ZEV and BEV technology, related to fears about the impact on the environment of carbon dioxide emissions. Many countries, especially those in Europe, have policies to support EVs as they are increasingly aware of a need to deal with climate change.
Mr Mana believes Thailand has the potential to develop the PHEV industry because it has long served as a major production base for internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, especially for Japanese firms.
"Thailand is a hub of car production in Asean and has strong supply chains for the automotive industry, so it can be a hub of PHEV production in the future," he said.
A move towards PHEV production would also be beneficial for small enterprises in automotive supply chains, said Mr Mana.
"ICE car production will not be disrupted quickly, which will allow local suppliers to improve technology and operations to provide next-generation cars," said Krungthai Compass analyst Pimchatr Ekkachan.
ZEV and BEV production serve as the next major challenge and Mr Mana expects Japanese automakers to develop technology and marketing plans for both types of EVs.