Thailand: Acceleration as EV hub, increasing battery production
Increase in EVs on market, production to recover with drop in COVID and easing of chip shortage
- Thailand’s electrification policy: Making the country an EV production hub by 2035
- Targets for EV charging stations and battery production
- Production in January-September 2021 increases 25.9% to 1.21 million units, pickup truck output grows 27.5%
- Exports in January-September 2021 grow 29.9% to 677k units, Asia seeing a significant increase in exports
- Thai auto market: Sales of passenger cars fall 2.9%, deliveries of commercial vehicles increase 1.2% in January-September 2021
- Production Forecast by LMC Automotive: Thai production expected to be 2.10 million units in 2024
|Great Wall Motor’s EV, ORA Good Cat
(Exhibited at the Bangkok International Motor Show 2021)
Launched in Thailand end of Oct. 2021 with orders for 6,000 units within 48 hours of pre-sales
In March 2021, the Thai government announced a new target to make Thailand an EV production hub by 2035, five years earlier than previously planned. In addition, the government raised the target for the proportion of EVs in domestic automobile production by 2030 from 30% to 50%. The cumulative production target for EVs has been set at 1.051 million units (including cars & pickup trucks, motorcycles, and buses & trucks) by 2025, 6.224 million units by 2030, and 18.413 million units by 2035.
The government has also formulated plans for building charging stations and producing batteries, which are key to promote the use of EVs. The National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee meeting held in May 2021 set up targets for the installment of charging facilities and production of batteries. Regarding activities to increase battery production capacities, Thailand Energy Absolute and Global Power Synergy, a power generation arm of Thai national oil and gas conglomerate PTT Group (PTT) opened a battery plant in 2021. The U.S.-based Evlomo Inc. also announced plans to build a battery plant in Thailand.
While existing OEMs are launching their electrified models one after another, newcomers are also active in the commercial vehicle sector. Thai Rung Union Car Public Company Limited, a Thai company specializing in vehicle conversion and the production of automotive parts, released a new electric tuk-tuk (tricycle) model. Energy Absolute Public Co., Ltd. has built an EV assembly plant to produce electric buses.
In 2020, Thai vehicle production fell 29.1% year-over-year (y/y) to 1.43 million units, sales in Thailand declined 20.2% y/y to 804,000 units, and exports decreased 30.2% y/y to 736,000 units. Thai production, sales and exports were significantly reduced due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Production in January-September 2021 increased 25.9% y/y to 1.21 million units, domestic sales decreased 0.8% y/y to 617,000, and exports rose 29.9% y/y to 677,000 units. Although the recovery of domestic sales has been slow due to the economic slowdown, vehicle supply shortages caused by delays in the supply of semiconductors and other components, and the second lockdown implemented from mid-July to August, strong performance of exports to Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America have boosted production volume.
In July 2021, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) forecasted 1.55-1.60 million units for production, 750,000 units for sales and 800,000-850,000 units for exports for the full year of 2021. However, in October, the FTI projected that 2021 output may exceed 1.60 million units because the COVID-19 crisis is under control and the shortage of semiconductor supplies is easing. However, the FTI will continue closely monitoring the pandemic situation and a semiconductor supply shortage, as unpredictable movements may occur.
ASEAN Vehicle Sales and Production Update (Q2 2021) (Aug. 2021)
The global market for motorcycles: India, China and ASEAN countries (Jul. 2021)
ASEAN: Thailand and Indonesia building EV and battery production facilities (Jun. 2021)
ASEAN Vehicle Sales and Production Update (Q1 2021) (May 2021)
Bangkok International Motor Show 2021 (Part 2): Pickup trucks competition (Apr. 2021)
Bangkok International Motor Show 2021 (Part 1): GWM unveils its lineup of electric vehicles (Apr. 2021)
Thailand: Resuming plan to be an EV hub in ASEAN region after COVID-19 pandemic (Sep. 2020)