Plan to create electric vehicle ecosystem

Plan to create electric vehicle ecosystem

The government looks set to create an ecosystem for electric vehicle (EV) production as part of its efforts to turn Thailand into a manufacturing hub for such cars.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak yesterday rushed to soothe concerns of Japanese car and auto-parts manufacturers that the government would gradually push towards EV manufacturing, saying Thailand remains committed to promoting eco-cars and hybrid cars.

Toyota Motor Thailand president Kyoichi Tanada recently said it was too early for Thailand to be an EV production base and the company would produce hybrid cars before developing plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), while Honda Automobile (Thailand) chief operating officer Pitak Pruittisarikorn has said the Thai market is not yet attractive enough for hybrids or other EV production as demand is too low.

The cabinet earlier this week agreed to promote EV production.

At present, there are four types of EVs. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and PHEVs were developed first with two systems, electricity/petrol, and electricity/diesel. Later, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were developed, fuelled purely by electricity. Fuel-cell EVs represent the latest technology.

Mr Somkid said he has instructed the Excise Department to provide tax incentives to encourage EV manufacturing.

Thailand has high potential to produce EVs given its current infrastructure, he said.

Meanwhile, the government will push e-government initiatives with the aim to make its operations more transparent and reduce corruption.

The government plans to kick-start PromptPay in late October. PromptPay is part of the national e-payment initiative to push the country towards electronic transactions and away from a cash and paper-based economy.

Mr Somkid said around 2 million people have signed up to receive welfare payments through the e-payment system.

The registration period will run until Aug 15.

Separately, the government will unveil a new batch of economic stimulus this year as part of its focus to reduce income disparity and address poverty problems, tackle social problems, sharpen competitiveness and build up good governance and transparency, Mr Somkid said.

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