ASEAN EV Market Production
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ASEAN EV Market: Expanding Production in Thailand

06 May 2024 | Thailand

Electric vehicle (EV) adoption in Southeast Asia has gained momentum in recent years, albeit slower than in other regions like Europe and China. Indonesia boasts the largest nickel deposits globally, while Vietnam's abundant nickel reserves make it ideal for battery production. Thailand, the region's largest producer and market for EVs, offers incentives to position itself as a base for EV manufacturing. These factors provide good provisions for the ASEAN EV industry.

EV Production in Thailand

Thailand heavily influences the development of ASEAN EV production, as it dominates the automotive industry in the region. In 2022, the country's motor production reached a significant milestone of 1.9 million units, constituting approximately 43% of the overall production across all ASEAN nations. Moreover, Thailand also leads in motorcycle and scooter production, manufacturing around two million units in 2022, representing a substantial 55% of the total production within ASEAN. This dominance in automotive manufacturing has provided a solid foundation for EV adoption in Thailand.

The trajectory of EV adoption in Thailand has been remarkable since 2020. By September 2023, the adoption rate for passenger EVs had reached an impressive 10%, signaling a growing preference among consumers for eco-friendly transportation options. Government incentives, improved infrastructure, and a burgeoning market for electric vehicles fuel this trend.

ASEAN EV Adoption Rate

Image Source: YCP White Paper

In addition to passenger cars, the three-wheeler (3W) segment has seen substantial adoption, driven partly by the emergence of electric 3W taxi operators like MuvMi. The company has spurred growth in the 3W EV sector by introducing on-demand tuk-tuk rides for residents and tourists. With plans to expand its fleet to 5,000 vehicles within the next five years in Bangkok and other provinces, the adoption of 3W EVs is expected to continue its upward trajectory, further diversifying Thailand's EV landscape.

Thailand's government has played a vital role in promoting EV adoption, particularly in the public transport sector. Efforts to convert public transport buses to electric fleets have yielded significant results, with the adoption rate increasing from 9% in 2021 to an impressive 42% in 2022. This initiative, coupled with the expansion of fleet conversion beyond Bangkok, is expected to drive further adoption among private sector players such as university buses, employee buses, and tour buses, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable transportation ecosystem.

Despite limited adoption until 2022, the EV truck sector presents promising growth opportunities. Challenges such as high upfront costs, range limitations, and limited charging infrastructure have hindered widespread adoption. However, with increasing demand from customers of truck operators and logistics companies for electric fleets to drive sustainability in the supply chain, the potential for growth in this sector is significant. Currently, electric trucks are limited to short routes within cities and on fixed routes, but advancements in technology and infrastructure could unlock their full potential in the near future.

While EV adoption in Southeast Asia is still in its early stages, there is significant potential for growth in the region. Thailand's ASEAN EV adoption and production leadership will help the region catch up with the global EV market.



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