Government incentives, increased production, and growing environmental consciousness among consumers are propelling Thailand’s automotive market to undergo a green transformation.
Pinpawee Pulsawad, a 38-year-old owner of a maid services company in Saraburi province, harbors no regrets about her decision to buy an electric car for daily commute.
“Since I bought my electric car several months ago, many friends have inquired about my choice, expressing concerns about its efficiency and maintenance, considering electric vehicles (EV) are relatively new technology in Thailand,” she shared.
Pinpawee opted for a GWM ORA Good Cat 500 ultra electric vehicle, which cost around 970,000 baht.
She commutes approximately 100 km round trip from Ayutthaya to her office in Saraburi nearly every day. Her monthly spending on public charging comes to about 2,000 baht, significantly less than the 5,000 baht she used to paid for petrol car.
She intends to install a home charger and think will further reduce energy cost. When comparing fuel expenses, she emphasizes that electric cars are more economical to run than petrol cars since they rely on electricity instead of gasoline.
However, she recommends that individuals embarking on long road trips consider downloading apps to assist in locating charging networks along the way, as well as identifying petrol stations situated off major highways or at rest areas.
Kittipong Palawat, a 49-year-old company officer, underwent months of contemplation about whether to stick with petrol car or transition to a new EV. He consulted with numerous EV users and ultimately deciding to buy a BYD Atto 3, priced at around 1.2 million baht.
The decision-making process was grounded in five key factors: affordability, power consumption, interior and exterior design, maintenance and insurance.
Kittipong recounted the experience driving from Bangkok to Chanthaburi, about 250 km, which takes about 3 hours. “On both the outbound and return journeys, I stopped at a petrol station to charge. It was as convenient as charging at home and took about 40 minutes. I spent about 500 baht, significantly reducing my daily expenses,” he said.
He emphasized that EV are becoming increasingly commonplace, with major automakers racing to produce and introduce them to the market. He perceives a burgeoning interest in this green technology, deeming it eco-friendly and with silent engines.
Thai government’s policies aimed at promoting EV and new S-curve industries, along with incentives for auto manufacturers to invest in EV sector, played a significant role in influencing the decisions of Pinpawee and Kittipong to purchase EVs. However, they express concerns about the shortage of EV specialists and skilled workers needed to support the growth of EVs and related industries.
As the auto industry makes the transition, driven by the rising demand for battery EVs, Thai government has approved a comprehensive package of incentives to boost EV adoption in the country.
These include tax reductions, subsidies, and exemptions for both imported and domestically produced EVs, with the goal of positioning Thailand as a hub for EV manufacturing in Asia.
EV buyers in Thailand can enjoy subsidies ranging from 70,000 baht to 150,000 baht. These incentives are part of a broader strategy aimed at encouraging local production and related components.