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Thai car market suffering from stalled EV promotion package as buyers delay


Thailand’s car market has come under pressure after a package of measures to promote electric vehicle (EV) purchases stalled before reaching the Cabinet for approval.

Earlier, Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who also acts as EV board chairman, said the package was due to be submitted to Cabinet in January.

According to a source from the automobile industry, consideration of the EV promotion measures will be delayed until the middle of March.

The package includes a maximum 40 per cent cut on import duty for EVs costing up to 2 million baht (2022-2023), a cut in excise tax from 8 per cent to 2 per cent (2022-2025), and subsidies of 70,000 baht for vehicles up to 30kWh and 150,000 baht for cars with larger battery capacity (2022-2025).

To be eligible for the package, carmakers must produce at least as many EVs in Thailand as they import for sale by 2024.

Krisada Uttamote, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand, said the car market is currently under pressure as customers delay orders of cars while they wait for the government's EV promotion package.

He called the package a good idea, saying it was required to boost low demand for EVs after sales of just 1,900 in 2021.

Thai car market suffering from stalled EV promotion package as buyers delay

Pongsak Lertrudeewattanawong, vice president of MG Sales (Thailand), said customers in both the electric and internal combustion engine car markets are waiting for the government's EV promotion package.

He added that even though EV sales are not high, the volume of EVs currently available could not meet demand from customers.

"We believe that this package will help stimulate the market, but confusion over the package details is affecting customers' decisions to purchase new cars," he said.

Car sales in all segments rose to 67,000 in January, up 21 per cent from the same period last year. However, sales increased from a low base due to the Covid-19 crisis last year.

Published : February 13, 2022

By : THE NATION