Thailand poised to be regional leader in electric vehicle revolution, and all it needs is a spark

Published onJanuary 7, 2021

Entrepreneurs banking on electric vehicles as one of the solutions to tackle climate change are positioning themselves early, as Thailand looks to ramp up production. The automotive sector is one of Thailand’s most important. The country is the eleventh biggest car manufacturer in the world and the fourth in Asia, only behind the powerhouse nations of China, Japan and South Korea. Thailand’s legacy assets and skills, all set up to produce conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, face being wiped out by the electric wave. Already the industry has taken a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. But within five years, the Thai government wants the country to become a hub for something new. A national roadmap will aim to promote EV manufacturing to the extent that it makes up 30 per cent of total annual car production, or about 750,000 units, by the end of the decade. Tax incentives are being rolled out to encourage big players to build their EV fleets in Thailand. It is mobilising state agencies to power a fast transition, starting with public transportation and infrastructure, like charging stations and battery swapping facilities.