January 31, 2023
BANGKOK – A measure to support production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries in Thailand has been delayed by a conflict between the finance and industry ministries, the EV board complained on Monday.
It said the measure – which features incentives for setting up EV battery plants – is as important in building Thailand’s EV industry as tax privileges and subsidies for EV imports.
“The measure to promote EV battery manufacturers to set up factories in Thailand should have been launched in October last year, but no progress has been made,” the EV board said.
The delay came after the Industry Ministry insisted EV battery manufacturers set up factories in Thailand before receiving support from the government.
The Finance Ministry wants the measure to be similar to other EV incentives, such as tax discounts and subsidies on importing EV batteries.
“The Finance Ministry’s idea aims to reduce the battery price and boost demand for EVs in Thailand since the battery price accounts for 50% of the whole EV,” the EV board said.
However, it said the Finance Ministry’s idea was that EV battery manufacturers who set up factories in Thailand must produce double the amount of imported batteries within two years, and three times the number within four years.
The EV board said more than 37,000 EVs were booked as of January this year.
It warned that Thailand could lose the opportunity to penetrate the EV market if the country is slower in gearing up production than rivals such as Indonesia.