Rizen undeterred by light EV deliveries
Despite limited deliveries of electric vehicles, Rizen Energy Co, the importer and distributor of China's BYD EVs, is keen to introduce two new models in 2019 with an expectation of over 100 cars sold.
Rizen Energy is a subsidiary of Sharich Holding Co, which owns a 48% stake, while AJ Advance Technology Plc owns 45%.
"Last year we delivered 50 EVs of the Chinese-made BYD e6 to the taxi fleet of EV Society Co at Suvarnabhumi airport," said Ronachai Chinwattanaporn, the newly appointed chief executive of Rizen Energy. "In 2019, we have secured some 50 bookings so far from EV Society for the taxi fleet at Don Mueang airport as the company expands its public transport service to other international airports."
Rizen Energy signed an agreement with EV Society last March to deliver a total taxi fleet of 1,000 EVs.
Mr Ronachai said Rizen Energy will import two BYD models, the e3 multi-purpose vehicle and the T3 minivan, with an emphasis on fleet sales to companies.
"For the T3 minivan, it can be a logistics vehicle and many companies such as DHL are interested in using electric-powered cars in their shipment and logistics services," he said.
EVs for personal driving have yet to become more popular locally, he said, due to limited charging stations and unaffordable pricing.
"Rizen Energy believes that the fleet distribution for EVs is such a competitive platform to increase the EV population in the country," Mr Ronachai said.
He said the company can take advantage of the Thai-China Free Trade Agreement, which zeroed EV import duty beginning in early 2018, so Rizen Energy can offer more competitive local retail prices.
The BYD e6 is a five-seat multi-purpose vehicle with a driving range of 350 kilometres per charge. Charging takes two hours at a 40-kilowatt station.
The e6 costs 1.89 million baht and is equipped with an 80 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.
Mr Ronachai said the business positioning of Rizen Energy is not just to import and distribute the EVs locally, but also to seek new opportunities in electric-powered vehicles in Thailand.
Sharich and Rizen Energy are conducting a feasibility study of BYD's 24-seat minibus for use as a public EV bus.
"Moreover, the Shenzhen-listed BYD has plenty of EV platforms to support many countries worldwide," Mr Ronachai said. "Rizen Energy itself is interested in importing the BYD monorail to join the government's procurement for the Pink Line and Yellow Line in the metropolitan area."