Thailand preparing incentives for electric vehicles

 

Thailand is getting serious about green automobiles with the government preparing to launch a roadmap for development of the electric vehicle industry complete with incentives for investments by the private sector and cooperation from the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), local and regional media reported last week.

“Having been successful as a global destination for pick-up truck and small car production, Thailand has been looking to jump start the development of a green car industry churning out hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles. Things are progressing, and now a roadmap for the electric vehicle industry is expected to surface this month,” a report on paultan.org, a Malaysia-based auto industry website, said last week.

“Instead of resting on its car production laurels, the ‘Detroit of the East’ is laying the groundwork for the future. Malaysia also has incentives for car companies to produce hybrids, but the privileges depend on direct negotiation with the government. In contrast, Thailand’s automotive blueprints and requirements are clearly defined,” the website wrote.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who oversees the economic ministries, said an upcoming meeting with the Prime Minister and the Board of Investment will discuss details of five- and 10-year plans for the electric vehicle (EV) industry. “We will finalize a plan that will serve as a guideline for related industries, offering a timeline for our EV development plans,” Somkid said.

Paultan wrote that the government will have to “set the ball rolling by dangling attractive carrots to carmakers.” The Board of Investment will mostly likely offer a 15-year exemption on corporate income tax. Furthermore, the government is expected to establish a fund to support or rebate investments and expenditures by companies engaged in research and development of electric vehicles and related technologies.

“If car manufacturers do not act now regarding EVs, they will be left behind. Development of the segment takes time, and the faster the better,” Somkid said.

Uttama Savanayana, the Minister of Industry, said “The government plans to set up talks with the FTI in April to announce government policies and support to be given to the private sector to encourage them to start real investment, especially in EV cars.”

The production of EVs will be centered in the Eastern Economic Corridor, the three-province zone that is planned as a home for advanced industries and a showcase area for Thailand 4.0, the national strategy that is designed to transform Thailand’s economy and society into one driven by innovation, advance and green technologies, research and development, and creativity.

Photo courtesy of www.thailand-business-news.com

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