Thai power agency modifying used cars into electric vehicles


In line with Thailand’s drive towards green innovation, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) will convert used cars into electric vehicles as a trial project with the aim of making them available for sale to the public in 2020 at prices far below those of new electric cars.

An EGAT official said the falling prices for many components of electric vehicles (EV) are making the project feasible. Also, the savings compared to the cost of buying a new electric car or hybrid is substantial.

“The cost to modify used cars is expected to be around 300,000 baht ($9,400) to install vital EV components, such as lithium-ion batteries and electric motors, compared with around 500,000 baht ($15,700) before,” said Jiraporn Sirikum, assistant governor for research, innovation and business development at EGAT.

“The price of batteries has declined globally. This will be much cheaper than buying new EVs. For example, a new Tesla costs over 3 million baht ($94,175),” she said.

EGAT is collaborating with the National Science and Technology Development Agency to modify three models of subcompact cars for the trial: the Toyota Vios, Honda Jazz, and Nissan Almera.

The goal of the project is to encourage more Thai drivers to make the switch to electric vehicles by making them available sooner and at lower prices than waiting for new vehicles to be produced and for prices to come down.

The agency has also purchased 23 EV buses and is testing them at one of its power plants before putting them in service for commuters.

The government and Board of Investment have been promoting investment in electric vehicles as part of their strategy to attract higher-technology and green industries in line with sustainable development and responding to climate change.