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9 Jun 2021

Econ Digest

Time for adjustment! The national EV strategic plan could drive the Thai automotive industry to become a ZEV production base


        The National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee has set a challenging new target to achieve 100% of Thailand’s total vehicle production capacity as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) within 2035, to establish Thailand as one of the world’s key ZEV production bases. KResearch expects that this move will substantially help the relevant sectors in developing clear guidelines for implementation and facilitate attracting future investment in ZEV production into Thailand.

        Achieving that target will require the support of some important components, and those in which the relevant government and private sectors have a role to play are: 1) Creating opportunities for Thailand to have large enough ZEV markets at home and abroad. In the domestic market, the focus is on competitive pricing, building confidence in EV charging stations, and incentives to encourage consumers to switch vehicles more quickly. In the overseas markets, FTA agreements with countries that are the main markets for ZEVs should be accelerated. In addition, new ZEV product champions must be created, such as compact passenger cars and pickups, to make it easier to penetrate overseas markets. 2) Creating opportunities to establish the most comprehensive supply chain of ZEV parts in the country. Although Thailand is unlikely to attract investment in the production of battery cells, which are the most important part that creates the highest added value for the country, Thailand may focus on attracting investment in the production of other important ZEV components such as electric motors, inverters, on-board chargers, and other electric parts and sensors, as well as regenerative braking systems, to create a complete supply chain of other ZEV components in the country.

         As the global ZEV industry has undergone a marked change in competition with many countries as vehicle production bases competing to become a leader in ZEV production, it is time for the Thai automotive industry to accelerate its adaptation in order to stay afloat and seize opportunities in this looming trend.

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