Thailand scales down subsidies for EVs as sales boom


Electric vehicle sales in Thailand have seen significant growth this year. Thai government approved a drawn down subsidy package last Wednesday. Starting from next year and ending in 2027. At the same time, they continue to encourage the EV industry, aiming for Thailand to become a regional hub for EV production. Recently, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin visited the SAIC Motor-CP factory to inspect and test ride on upcoming electric sports car.

SAIC Motor-CP debuts its first Thailand-made NEW MG4 ELECTRIC Thailand Edition. (Photo: MG Automotives)

According to Reuters, Thai government approved a drawn down subsidy package last Wednesday. Starting from next year and ending in 2027, the government will offer a subsidy of up to 100,000 baht per EV, down from 150,000 baht currently to balance budgetary support while continuing its strong EV sales momentum.

"In the past 2-3 years after the government's support, the rate of EV use in Thailand has greatly increased,” said from Narit Therdsteerasukdi, Secretary General of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI). EV sales in Thailand increased sevenfold to 50,340 units in the first nine months of 2023, way more than any other market in South-East Asia.

“So, support from the government will gradually reduce in line with the situation, in order not to cause too much of a burden on the budget,” he added.

Under the new EV3.5 package, subsidies will range between 50,000 baht and 100,000 baht for vehicles priced below 2 million baht and with a battery size of at least 50 KWh, while smaller EVs will qualify for subsidies ranging between 20,000 baht and 50,000 baht. EVs in Thailand typically cost between 1.2 million baht and 1.7 million baht.

The EV maker SAIC Motor-CP debuts its first Thailand-made NEW MG4 ELECTRIC Thailand Edition last Saturday. The Thailand prime minister and finance minister Srettha Thavisin along with 200 members of the cabinet are invited to visit manufacturing facility and Thavisin takes a test ride on the up-coming MG Cyberster sports car.

Thavisin said that the development of electric cars is the only way for Thailand to become a production and distribution base in ASEAN. “The Thai government has always been committed to promoting the production and sale of EV and will continue to implement incentive policies,” he said.

Thai PM Srettha Thavisin at SAIC Motor-CP's car assembly and EV battery manufacturing plants on Saturday. (Photo: MG Automotives)

Spanning across an area of over 437.5 rais in WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 2 (WHA ESIE 2) in Chonburi province, the factory is capable of providing full manufacturing services — from internal combustion engines to alternative energy vehicles — with a total production capacity of 100,000 units per year for domestic and international distribution. This October, SAIC Motor-CP’s new EV battery factory was founded, and the production line is capable of manufacturing up to 50,000 Cell-To-Pack battery units per year.

Thailand is keen to transform itself into a regional hub for EV manufacturing and aims to convert about 30% of its annual production of 2.5 million vehicles into EVs by 2030. So the scheme will also include lower import duty and excise taxes. “In the first two years of the EV3.5 programme import duties on completely built-up electric vehicles costing up to THB2m will be reduced by up to 40%, while excise taxes will be reduced to 2% from 8%,” Narit said.

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