The government will soon announce measures to boost domestic demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), with the aim of maintaining their prices at a level closer to those of petrol-driven cars. KResearch views that car manufacturers who would benefit from the initiatives may be limited to those equipped with the latest technology and with production bases located in Thailand, or planning to establish a BEV manufacturing base here in the near future. This is especially true for Chinese carmakers who already have the required technology, and Western luxury car brands that are considering Thailand as a production base for exporting right-hand-drive BEVs. That said, only a few Japanese carmakers are prepared to make such an investment, due to concerns over technology readiness.
Regarding the effects of the government’s measures on the sales volume of BEVs, KResearch projects that the domestic sales of BEVs in 2022 will likely be in the range of 4,000-5,000 units, compared to the 2021 forecast of merely 2,000 units. While BEV sales figures may account for only 0.5-0.6 percent of total car sales in 2022, which could reach 780,000-820,000 units, there is a strong likelihood that BEV sales will pick up pace in the years to follow – likely to reach 25,000 units by 2025, when the scheme is set to conclude – if the aforementioned initiatives prove to be a boon to both buyers and carmakers. BEV passenger cars, which are being developed by most car brands, are expected to be the dominant type of BEV during the initial phase. Within this group, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) of varying sizes will likely gain mass appeal based on current global trends.
Nonetheless, KResearch perceives the availability of electric vehicle charging points (EVCPs) to be another essential element that should be developed in tandem, as it directly factors into the purchasing decisions of potential BEV users – especially those interested in buying BEVs that cost THB1 million or less, who are the main customer group – most of whom cannot afford to install an electric vehicle charger at their homes. Both the government and the private sector should collaborate to promote 1) increased EVCPs for both DC fast charger and AC charger in public parking spaces, leased parking lots, office buildings and condominiums; and 2) a user-friendly and effective data management system for reserving EV chargers through applications that can manage big data, particularly EVCP data for each car brand, offering users appropriate and comprehensive access in real time. The system would help BEV owners to better arrange their EV charging time slots, as the standard of BEV chargers varies between different car manufacturers.