Electric vehicles win strong support

Electric vehicles win strong support

A four-seat electric car, which claimed to be the smallest of its kind in the world, is shown at Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology in Bangkok last year. The cabinet on Tuesday decided to seriously promote the manufacturing of electric vehicles in the country. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
A four-seat electric car, which claimed to be the smallest of its kind in the world, is shown at Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology in Bangkok last year. The cabinet on Tuesday decided to seriously promote the manufacturing of electric vehicles in the country. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

The cabinet on Tuesday approved in principle tax incentives for electric car manufacturing and paved the way for the November launch of electric public buses in the capital.

Related agencies were also instructed to work out standards for electric vehicles and charging stations, as well as measures to handle discarded batteries, said Kobsak Pootrakool, a vice minister at the Prime Minister's Office.

The decision was line with the global trend, he said. In 2014, there were 89 million vehicles worldwide and 1.2% of them, or 1.1 million units, were electric vehicles. The number of electric vehicles jumped by as much as 53% that year, Mr Kobsak said.

The Board of Investment, the Finance Ministry and the Industry Ministry would work out details of the incentives. Possible incentives would include a waiver of import tariffs for some models for marketing purposes and for key parts to be used in initial production, as well as an income tax incentive, he said.

Interested parties could file their project proposals with plans on the manufacturing of electric vehicles, batteries and motors, Mr Kobsak said.

For the introduction of electric buses, the cabinet ordered the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority to quickly procure some 200 electric buses.

Government agencies with plans to buy vehicles will also be instructed to choose electric models, he said.

Siriruj Chulakaratana, director-general of the Office of Industrial Economics, said despite the incentives, the government would maintain its support for the manufacturing of eco cars, one-tonne pickup trucks and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.


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