Thai electric truck registrations surge tenfold in anticipation of EU carbon tariffs


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In response to the European Union's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), the trend of the industrial sector in Thailand switching to electric vehicles is becoming increasingly evident. According to official statistics, the registration of electric trucks in Thailand surged by over 10 times in 2023.

Suraphong Paisitpattanaphong, Vice Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), stated on Jan. 29 that the number of electric truck registrations in Thailand in 2023 was 303 vehicles, marking a significant increase of 1065.38% compared to the previous year.

CBAM is a carbon tariff measure introduced by the EU to restrict the carbon emissions of imported products. The initial phase targets products such as steel, aluminum, and cement, with formal implementation expected to begin in 2026. Currently, during the transition period, EU importers only need to submit greenhouse gas emission data from the production process.

Suraphong mentioned, "currently, consumers prefer to purchase hybrid vehicles because Thailand has been producing such vehicles for over a decade, with a total production exceeding 50,000 vehicles, which helps reduce air pollution in Thailand."

According to Thai automotive media Autolife, electric vehicle sales in Thailand reached 7.8 times that of the previous year in 2023, totaling 76,314 vehicles. BYD, a Chinese manufacturer, accounts for approximately 40% of the market share, leading the market. By country, Chinese companies account for as much as 80%, while Japanese companies such as Toyota and Nissan make up less than 1%.

Analysis by Nikkei Asia indicates that the trend of Chinese electric vehicles entering the Thai market is strengthening, not only because of the rapid expansion of the Thai electric vehicle market but also due to the slowing growth of the Chinese car market.

With Chinese electric vehicle giants like BYD choosing to increase production in Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries estimates that the overall automobile production, including electric vehicles, is expected to see its first growth in two years, reaching 1.9 million vehicles in 2024, with an expected growth rate of 3%.

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