THAILAND plans to become a major player in the electric-vehicle industry and is attracting investment by offering special privileges for companies planning EV production in the Kingdom.
Speaking yesterday at the “Driving towards Automotive Industry 4.0” seminar organised by the Thailand Automotive Institute and Reed Tradex Co at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Bitec), Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said that last year Thailand was ranked as the world’s No 12 auto producer.
The country produced 1.944 million vehicles in 2016, while Indonesia was 17th with 1.177 million vehicles and Malaysia 23rd with just over 513,000.
“Thailand has a large domestic auto market and the Thai auto industry is made up of producers, parts suppliers and other related industries,” he said, adding that the auto industry contributes 12 per cent of the Thai industry sector’s gross domestic product.
“The government is aware that having high-efficiency and eco-friendly vehicles not only helps improve the quality of life but will also raise the standards of future automobiles in Thailand to match upcoming global emission standards,” he said.
To promote the production and usage of EVs, the government started to offer privileges for various types of eco-friendly vehicles, including hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles.
Privileges have also been offered for the production of EV core technologies such as batteries, traction motors and electronic control units. Promotions for EV charging stations are also being offered, Uttama said. “The Eastern Economic Corridor project is part of ‘Thailand 4.0’ and has the aim of raising the level of the original East Seaboard project that has helped Thailand become an industrial leader for more than 30 years.”