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31 Mar 2021


Thai Lithium-ion Battery Industry Set to Thrive in line with xEVs, Though Thailand Needs to Upgrade its Position from being only an Assembly Base (Current Issue No.3203)


The Thai lithium-ion battery industry is set to post steady growth ahead, thanks to increased investment from mainstream auto makers to accommodate growth in the production of their electric vehicles (xEVs) in Thailand and from entrepreneurs in the Thai energy industry, who have seen business opportunities arising from electric vehicles. However, carmakers are expected to invest only in the assembly of batteries in Thailand. Their investment in battery cells will probably be made in Indonesia for export to Thailand in order to assemble battery packs for xEVs manufactured here. Meanwhile, Thai entrepreneurs, who have invested in integrated battery production, right from battery cells to finished products, may experience a challenge in proposing their battery technologies to mainstream car makers for the production of xEVs as such car manufacturers tend to use battery technologies that they have jointly developed with their business partners instead. Moreover, battery technologies that they have jointly developed with their partners can better meet their requirements in terms of EV platform design and security. Therefore, business opportunities for Thai battery manufacturers in the xEV supply chain will likely be limited.              

            Given this, KResearch assesses that demand for lithium-ion batteries for xEVs may reach approximately 58,324 packs, an increase of 53.0 percent YoY, 99 percent of which would be from HEVs and PHEVs, which account for roughly 99 percent of all xEVs. Regarding BEVs in Thailand, they are primarily imported by mainstream carmakers, and the remainder is assembled by startups. As a result, demand for lithium-ion batteries from BEVs will be relatively low. ​