Cars powered by electric motors have increasingly made inroads into Thailand as seen by a rise in sales of electric cars, new investment projects by international investors and the preparation in basic infrastructure, namely, EV charging stations, which are mushrooming.
According to a KResearch survey, a majority of consumers consider electric vehicles (EV) one of their choices of vehicles in the future. Among these, a plug-in hybrid is the first option of our respondents, particularly when compared to vehicles in similar car categories with an internal combustion engine priced not higher than THB300,000. The most important reason for respondents to choose a plug-in hybrid is their concerns over refueling requirements because plug-in hybrids can use both gasoline and electric motors, followed by their desire to save the cost of energy.
The adequacy of electric charging station infrastructure is the biggest concern of most consumers. Nonetheless, there are now a small number of plug-in EVs on the roads. According to the KResearch forecast, there will be only around 51,300 plug-in EVs by 2019, while more than 1,000 charging stations are set to be operational this year. Therefore, the number of charging stations should outpace the demand in the next one or two years. During the initial period, operators of charging stations may find it difficult to generate enough revenue to break even within one year. Therefore, financial assistance to support investments in charging stations is necessary during the initial period to promote EVs in Thailand.