Thailand cuts taxes on electric vehicles

Determined to accelerate consumer acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs), Thailand has slashed its excise tax on EVs from 8 to 2 percent. And at least three foreign automakers are poised to sign new agreements to manufacture EVs in the Kingdom, according to a government official.

“I believe there will be at least three to four EV manufacturers from Japan and China and two to three electric motorcycle makers from agreements signed this year,” said Nattakorn Utensut, Director of Tax Planning Office, Excise Department, Ministry of Finance. They would join several firms already turning out EVs in Thailand.

Many of those vehicles are for export. Thailand is also working to build its domestic market for EVs, which is rapidly growing.

For decades, Thailand has been known as “The Detroit of Southeast Asia” because it is a center for automotive manufacturing. Virtually every major carmaker is producing combustion-engine vehicles in the Kingdom. Now, Thailand is making moves to transition to becoming a hub for EV production.

The government has designated advanced automotive as a priority sector in its national strategy dubbed Thailand 4.0. As part of that, the Board of Investment (BOI) provides generous incentives and privileges for companies designing and building EVs and equally as important, to companies engaged in building other parts of the ecosystem needed to make EVs truly accepted by consumers. That includes batteries, charging stations and other technologies.

For instance, Deco Green Energy Co, a Thai electric motorcycle manufacturer and distributor, recently signed an agreement with the Excise Department to receive government subsidies and tax incentives to promote battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Foreign companies have also earlier signed similar deals with the Department, including Toyota Motor Thailand, Great Wall Motor Manufacturing (Thailand) Co and MG Sales (Thailand).

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