State offers perks to increase sales
Price subsidy planned for 2022
The government plans to require car makers in Thailand to lower their electric vehicle (EV) price tags and produce EVs here within three years for both domestic and export markets in order to obtain combined tax incentives and price subsidy support, according to Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
The requirement is in line with government efforts to maintain Thailand as a regional auto hub, said Mr Arkhom.
The government plans to introduce an excise tax cut and import duty reduction for EVs next year to bring down EV prices.
The price subsidy measure will also be launched next year to support consumers wanting to buy full EVs, he said.
All these measures are expected to run for five years, said Mr Arkhom.
For the price subsidy, the money will be drawn from the existing fund for promoting the country's competitiveness, he said.
The fund has almost 10 billion baht remaining, said Mr Arkhom.
The use of this fund to promote EV usage is in line with its aim of promoting the country's competitiveness because EV use and pollution reduction are global trends.
He said the National Economic and Social Development Council is working out details of the fund use for the EV promotion.
The government might also consider supporting a price structure for an EV charging fee, said Mr Arkhom.
In addition, the government set a time frame for Thailand's auto sector to transition from fossil fuel vehicles to EVs of 10 years, starting from 2022, he said.
Mr Arkhom said such a transition cannot happen quickly in Thailand as there are 40 million vehicles with internal combustion engines in the country, of which 20 million are cars and the rest motorcycles.
He said in the initial stage, the promotion of EV use would focus on supporting EV imports before shifting to domestic EV production.
Mr Arkhom said many foreign car makers, such as US firms, are keen to produce EVs in Thailand.
Thailand plans to support EV production throughout the supply chain, including the production of car bodies, batteries and spare parts, he said.