In the Philippines, there’s still a pretty big question mark surrounding the viability of electric vehicles. You don’t need to look any further than local car brands’ reluctance to bring them in for proof. Over in Thailand? It’s a very different story.
A new report by Nikkei Asia says global car manufacturers are now rushing to get in on our Southeast Asian neighbor’s budding EV market. Chinese brands have been leading the charge, but manufacturers from Japan and Europe are determined to take advantage of what they see as an opportunity, too.
Just recently, the Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) featured dozens of new electric cars. According to Great Wall Motors Thailand managing director Narong Sritalayon, the global auto industry is being lured to the country by government support, with subsidies and forecasted growth indicating a positive outlook.
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In February, the Thai government approved measures meant to spur the local EV industry’s growth, including lower import taxes. The report adds that the government says initiatives can cut the cost of EVs by as much as 400,000 baht (over P600,000) per unit.
“The government's scheme to support EVs will help boost the Thai EV market as much as 100% this year,” Sritalayon told Nikkei Asia, adding that EV registrations in Thailand more than doubled over the past year from 4,000 units to 9,000.
Thailand’s finance ministry says eight car brands have already shown interest in availing of subsidies. Authorities are also banking on the private sector to help the EV revolution by constructing charging stations and other relevant infrastructure. The hope is that by 2030, 30% of the country’s local auto manufacturing industry will be comprised of electric cars. Do you think this is doable?