Thailand is currently paving the way for the development of the electric vehicle market in Southeast Asia. The country has the highest volume of EV sales in the region. By the third quarter of 2022, it accounted for 60% of total EV sales in the region, registering a 35% growth year-on-year.
The Thai government has been actively promoting the adoption of EVs to promote sustainable mobility and commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. In 2020, the government announced a plan to offer EV manufacturers and buyers tax incentives and other benefits.
In March 2022, the government set a goal of having one million EVs on the country’s roads by 2025, with a target of adding 15 million EVs within 10 years. It is expected that this year, EVs will account for 4% of total new vehicle sales in Thailand. The country plans to attract 400 million Thailand baht worth of investments in the next few years and accelerate the production of 1.2 million EVs and 690 charging stations by 2036.
The government introduced incentives for EV manufacturers to accelerate production in the country. The latest incentive package includes a 40% cut in import duties for completely built-up (CBU) battery EVs priced up to 2 million Thailand baht and a 20% cut for those priced between 2 million and 7 million Thailand baht from 2022 to 2023. There is also an excise tax cut from 8% to 2% for imported EVs, which is predicted to add 7,000 EVs in the first year.
More EV manufacturers are entering the Thailand market, allowing consumers to have more options to choose from. Chinese automaker BYD has opened a factory in the country to produce electric buses and other EV cars. Meanwhile, Nissan has launched the LEAF electric car in Thailand, and MG Motors has introduced the MG ZS EV.
The Thai government has also been investing in charging infrastructure to support the growing number of EVs on the road. In 2020, the government announced plans to install 1,000 charging stations nationwide by 2025. Thai energy company PTT and US electric car maker Tesla have committed to helping the development of EV infrastructure in Thailand.
Thailand's EV market presents significant opportunities for businesses and investors in the automotive industry. Its solid manufacturing base and skilled labor force present potential cost savings. Also, the country’s favorable geographic location and supportive government policies ensure the market is poised for growth.
The EV market in Thailand is steadily growing. With government support, manufacturing investments, charging infrastructure, and collaborations between companies, it is showing signs of further development in the coming years.
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