Standard EV charging system in the offing
EVAT says trial set to start early next year
The state and private sectors will start integrating different charging systems for electric vehicles (EVs) into a single standard as part of a trial early next year to make facilities more widely available to EV motorists.
Up to 80 charging outlets have been built since 2016 by 11 state and private power firms, but the facilities are operated separately and serve different EV types.
They were granted a budget from the state-owned Energy Conservation Fund under a state plan to develop an EV ecosystem in the country, but a lack of integration has hampered charging services.
"We want EV charging outlets to be run under a single standard," Krisda Utamote, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand (EVAT), said on Wednesday.
"They need to be managed on the same platform, which should develop a mobile application for all motorists.
"Different EV types from China, Japan and European counties can use the same platform similar to the way different debit cardholders withdraw money from ATMs and motorists have their cars refilled at petrol stations."
The different charging systems of state and private organisations will be integrated, with the help of radio frequency identification technology.
This should allow their facilities to serve both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
The trial will cover charging management, the use of the mobile application and payment methods, said Mr Krisda.
EVAT will work with energy officials to conduct the test.
Availability of charging facilities will help the government attain its EV goal, following its announcement of an EV roadmap in March 2015 to produce up to 1.2 million EVs by 2036.
The roadmap assures car makers considering EV business plans Thailand has a clear direction for the EV industry.
He said EVAT plans to hold talks with the authorities on the possibility of reaching the goal earlier, such as by 2030, because EVs seem to have received a warm welcome from motorists and business operators more rapidly than expected.
EVAT expects the number of registered BEVs this year will grow almost 318% to 5,000 units, compared with 1,572 units registered last year.
However, none of them were made in Thailand.
Officials are keen to make Thailand a regional hub of EV production, putting it among the country's 12 targeted S-curve industries.