Big push for electric vehicles

business March 12, 2016 01:00

By PICHAYA CHANGSORN
THE NATION

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Minister says in keeping with global trend, govt has come up with an energy road map.



THE National Energy Policy Council yesterday approved a roadmap to promote a wide-ranging adoption of electric vehicles and their necessary infrastructure.
“We would like electric vehicles to happen fast and hence we have come up with a clear-cut road map, because the world’s trend is moving that way,” said Energy Minister General Anantaporn Kanjanara
“By 2036, there will be 1.2 million EVs [electric vehicles] in Thailand. They will need at least 700-800 or even 1,000 charging stations,” he said. 
Twarath Sutabutr, director-general of the Energy Policy and Planning Office, said the plan would be kicked off this year with 200 electric bus fleets operating under the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority.
An electric bus route from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya would be run by the Provincial Electricity Authority, Twarath said.
Under the plan’s first phase, the authorities will study and prepare related infrastructure, taxation, laws, regulations and service fee structures. 
The deployment of EVs is slated to be expanded during the second phase from 2017 to 2019 when the private sector will be allowed to take part in the programme, which will still be limited to public fleets. 
The promotion of EV passenger vehicles is scheduled to start in the third phase when the government will offer support to help develop basic infrastructure, smart charging and vehicle to grid systems.
The aim is to establish an interim service structure for electric buses.
Also under the plan, the council will set a condition restricting the cost of fuel consumption per kilometre for the electric buses to not exceed the cost of natural gas-powered buses during the first phase. 
The NEPC, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, also approved the guidelines, criteria, conditions, and priorities for the disbursement of the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund between 2017 and 2021. 
According to the five-year plan, the ENCON Fund will allocate 67 per cent of its total Bt60-billion budget for the promotion of energy efficiency, 30 per cent for promoting renewable energy and the rest for strategic management of the plan. The council also approved extending the dateline for commissioning two solar rooftop programmes to June 30, with a reduced tariff rate for projects that cannot commence before April 30. 
The start-up date for a solar farm programme has also been extended to June 30, covering projects already under construction or in the petition process. The NEPC also approved a new solar rooftop programme that involves participants using solar energy for their internal consumption without selling back electricity to the power grid. 
The target is 100 megawatts, to be split equally by the Provincial Electricity Authority and the Metropolitan Electricity Authority. 
For each of the PEA and MEA slots, each household user will not exceed 10MW while factories and commercial buildings will not exceed 40MW.