Planned fund to make electric cars cheaper

Planned fund to make electric cars cheaper

Promotion is for the mass market

Mr Arkhom charges an electric vehicle during Egat's launch of a 500,000-baht EV charging station at the Finance Ministry on Thursday.
Mr Arkhom charges an electric vehicle during Egat's launch of a 500,000-baht EV charging station at the Finance Ministry on Thursday.

A government fund is expected to subsidise the prices of electric vehicles (EVs) to keep them closer to the cost of cars powered by internal combustion engines, according to Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, as part of a promotion in Thailand.

He said in addition to a planned excise tax incentive, the fund would be another tool to keep EV market prices affordable for the mass market.

Mr Arkhom said the comprehensive EV promotion plan is awaiting approval from the National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee.

As Thailand is a major vehicle production hub, especially for one-tonne pickups, the government also wants to promote the production of electric pickups, he said.

The ministry would consider an appropriate excise tax level for them, said Mr Arkhom.

At present, many auto manufacturers produce electric pickups in Thailand on a trial basis.

Thailand plans to support EV production throughout the supply chain, including the production of car bodies, batteries and spare parts.

The government wants to support the production of both 100% EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs.

The administration also plans to promote the use of EVs when state agencies have to procure new vehicles to replace the old fossil-fuelled ones, said Mr Arkhom.

Yesterday Mr Arkhom presided over the launch by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) launch of an EV charging station at the Finance Ministry.

The station charges 5.50 baht per unit (kilowatt/hour) for state vehicles and 7-9 baht per unit for private cars, according to Egat governor Boonyanit Wongrukmit.

Egat and its partners have installed 15 charging stations nationwide in urban areas. The number is expected to rise to 40-50 stations by early next year, said Mr Boonyanit.

The state agency set up a business unit called EleX by Egat to invest in the installation of the charging stations.

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