High momentum of EV growth

High momentum of EV growth

An electric vehicle charges at the latest edition of Motor Expo held in Bangkok. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill
An electric vehicle charges at the latest edition of Motor Expo held in Bangkok. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

Thailand's electric vehicle (EV) market will continue to gain momentum in 2023, with sales expected to reach between 25,000 and 35,000 units, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

But whether the target will be attained depends on the availability of semiconductors which have become scarce worldwide, affecting the automotive industry.

The FTI believes EV sales in 2022 could reach 1,000 units.

Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman and spokesman for the FTI's Automotive Industry Club, attributed the growth in EV sales to their less aggressive prices and the state incentive package aimed at stimulating sales.

In February 2022, the cabinet agreed to approve tax cuts and subsidies to promote EV consumption and production during the period 2022 to 2023.

"We see a bright future for the EV industry after global EV manufacturing giants, notably Tesla and BYD, launched their electric autos in Thailand while others also announced their investments in car assembly here," said Mr Surapong.

On Dec 7 last year, the newly established Tesla Thailand launched two models of car -- the Model 3 and the Model Y, with prices starting from 1.75 million baht and 1.95 million baht, respectively. These prices are lower than the imported vehicles offered for sale earlier by independent sellers.

On Oct 10 last year, BYD, through its distributor Rever Automotive Co, launched the Atto 3 sports utility vehicle. The vehicle was priced at almost 1.2 million baht.

While BYD announced a plan to construct an EV production facility in Rayong, Tesla remains mute regarding its plans for investment in Thailand.

Though Thailand foresees growth in its EV industry, driven by the global campaign for zero emissions, the country has to deal with many challenges that could decelerate its growth, according to global management consultancy Arthur D. Little.

The prices of renewable energy and charging services remain high in Thailand, while the number of EV charging stations is insufficient to serve EV drivers, the company said.

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