Excise tax rejig seeks to make Thailand an EV hub

Excise tax rejig seeks to make Thailand an EV hub

The excise tax structure for electric vehicles (EVs) is expected to be finalised this year, meant to establish Thailand as an EV hub, says the Excise Department.

Under the current excise tax structure, EVs are tax-exempt from Jan 1, 2020, to Dec 31, 2022, for car makers granted Board of Investment privileges, with the rates levied at 2% after 2022. Manufacturers that did not receive incentives are charged 8% tax.

This excise tax structure for automobiles promotes certain types of cars to become product champions through tax incentives, such as a 14% tax rate applied on eco-cars that is due to expire in 2025, said director-general Lavaron Sangsnit.

The government wants to promote EVs, meaning the Excise Department must devise a tax policy to create a new product champion, said Mr Lavaron.

The new excise structure for cars must emphasise clean energy technology to support EV use, he said.

The department will take into account the body and batteries of EVs to facilitate EV manufacturers using Thailand as a production base, instead of importing EVs, said Mr Lavaron.

Thailand is a regional hub for vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines.

The skill set of domestic workers in the auto industry could be a strength to attract EV manufacturers, he said. There are reports Tesla Inc, a leading American EV and clean energy company, is in talks with the Indonesian government about potential investment in the country.

Wide-scale use of EVs in Thailand is not expected for at least 10 years, said Mr Lavaron.

The department adapted to sluggish demand for oil and low global crude prices by levying a duty on carbon emissions, he said.

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