Somkid: Mitsubishi to handle 3 EV projects

Somkid: Mitsubishi to handle 3 EV projects

Car maker expects to submit to BoI on time

Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corporation will submit three electric vehicle (EV) projects worth a total of 11 billion baht to the Board of Investment (BoI) before the end of this year, says Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.

Mr Somkid met Mitsubishi chief executive Osamu Masuko last Friday, together with other high-ranking executives, including Morikazu Chokki, president and chief executive of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand, at the global launch of Thai-made Triton pickups.

The three EV projects consist of manufacturing of plug-in hybrid EVs worth 5 billion baht and two projects for batteries and hybrid EVs worth 6 billion.

The BoI application deadline for hybrid EVs was Dec 29, 2017. The deadline for plug-in hybrid and battery EVs is Dec 28 this year.

Mr Somkid said Mitsubishi will implement the plug-in hybrid EV first.

"Mitsubishi's investment will be in full-scale EV manufacturing in Thailand," he said. "EV momentum will pick up faster than the government expected."

As of October, the BoI had approved hybrid EVs for Toyota, Honda and Nissan, while plug-in hybrid EVs were granted for Mercedes-Benz, BMW and SAIC Motor-CP.

FOMM was the first manufacturer to win battery EV approval.

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi sells three EV models globally: the plug-in hybrid EV, the Outlander SUV and two battery EVs, the i-MiEV and the Minicab-MiEV.

Mitsubishi's facility in Thailand is located near Laem Chabang seaport in Chon Buri. Mitsubishi is the second-largest car exporter from Thailand, after Toyota.

For finished cars, three plants have a capacity of 424,000 units per year, while MMTh Engine Co makes 502,000 petrol and diesel engines per year.

Mr Chokki said Mitsubishi is committed to submitting the applications to the BoI before the deadline.

The government will soon conclude eco-car incentives in a bid to encourage six eco-car makers to join the EV scheme with affordable vehicles.

Mr Chokki said Mitsubishi is open to studying and considering the new scheme.

Separately, Mr Somkid said Thai AirAsia will merge with Malaysia's AirAsia Berhad in a plan to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

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