EA eyes 1,000 charging points

EA eyes 1,000 charging points

A plug-in hybrid car is charged at the EA Anywhere station at the Crystal Design Centre. EA is committed to having 1,000 charging stations by 2019. Thiti Wannamontha
A plug-in hybrid car is charged at the EA Anywhere station at the Crystal Design Centre. EA is committed to having 1,000 charging stations by 2019. Thiti Wannamontha

SET-listed Energy Absolute Plc (EA) aims to have 1,000 charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in 2019 after developing 500 stations so far.

The EA charging outlets are operated by Energy Mahanakhon Co, an EA subsidiary. The company started to install and expand EV charging outlets in 2017 and won investment incentives from the government.

Earlier, Energy Mahanakhon expected to reach 1,000 charging stations by 2018.

With 1,000 EV charging stations, Energy Mahanakhon will spend 800 million baht on the expansion plan.

Amorn Sapthaweekul, EA's deputy chief executive, said the company has to speed up the EV charging roll-out to meet the 2019 target, so it has to seek more business partners who are open for the installation of charging stations.

"We completed agreements with four new companies -- Chevron Thailand, CP All Plc, Bridgestone and Robinson Plc -- for our EV charging stations," he said. "The charging outlets will be installed at their petrol stations, convenience stores, department stores and auto-repair shops."

Mr Amorn said EA's charging stations are compatible with plug-in hybrid and battery EVs and provide two types of plugs: normal charge (type 2 for European EVs) and quick charge (combined charging system or CCS for types 1 and 2).

The CCS plug has two connectors, covering many EV types from Japan, China and the US.

Energy Mahanakhon plans to install 30 charging stations at Caltex petrol stations, 21 at 7-Eleven convenience stores, 23 at Robinson stores and 20 at Bridgestone service shops.

Earlier, EA collaborated with many partners to develop its charging stations, including TCC Group, hotel chains and office buildings.

Mr Amorn said EA is working on the EV assembly plan with a commitment to start production of battery-powered cars and boats from 2020 onward with a budget of 1.5 billion baht.

For electrified vehicles and ferries, another EA subsidiary, Mine Mobility Research Co, is in charge of the operations.

Mine Mobility Research is positioned as an R&D company for electrified vehicles and ferries with an investment budget of 200 million baht to seek vehicle and boat assemblers for the business.

Mine Mobility Research was granted government investment incentives, similar to Energy Mahanakhon.

Mr Amorn said Mine Mobility Research is near to completing talks with a boat operator to serve as its assembler, while electrified cars have yet to come to a conclusion.

"Battery-powered boats will start a test run in the fourth quarter," Mr Amorn said, adding that EA plans 54 assembled boats for the pilot scheme.

For EVs, the company ran a showcase in March with the Mine SPA 1, a multi-purpose vehicle.

Mr Amorn said EA received 4,562 bookings for the Mine SPA 1. Some 3,500 EVs are part of the taxi-fleet agreement.

"Every process is following as EA planned, and the Mine SPA will start delivery from 2020 onwards," he said. "We plan to assemble 3,000-5,000 EVs per year."

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