Thai EV policy ‘just in time’

Advisory firm CLC Asia has lifted the hood on the Thai government’s new electric vehicle (EV) policy, saying it may have come “just in time” to incentivise global auto majors to build their EVs in Thailand.

In a briefing note, CLC Asia managing director Chris Larkin said the new policy was said to have stemmed from a top Tesla official meeting prime minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha last year.

“Fundamentally, however, it was another stab by a Thai government, which like its predecessors, was attempting to return the Thai car industry back to its former glory by placing a bet on an ‘industry of the future’,” he wrote.

He said some European auto manufacturers including BMW and Mercedes had already invested in plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) production in Thailand and the new policy offered the most incentives to battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV) producers.

The policy offers a range of tax and tariff exemptions to producers of PHEV, BEV, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and their components.

Larkin cited recent research by UBS that suggested the cost of EV ownership and running costs would reach parity with internal combustion engines in Europe by 2018, and that EVs would account for one in three cars sold on the continent by 2025.

“If UBS’s predictions are solid, then Thailand may have undertaken its policy reform of the electric vehicle incentive framework just in time to catch the new EV wave and potentially see Thailand enjoy a first mover advantage in the region,” he said.

The surge in EV demand has seen has seen prices for battery ingredients including lithium and cobalt soar.

Author: Mining Journal
Date: May 31, 2017
Original Source: Mining Journal

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