January 15, 2024
BEIJING – With the help of Chinese technology and know-how, Thailand saw its first domestically made electric vehicle (EV) officially roll off the production line in Rayong on Jan 10, marking a milestone in the Southeast Asian nation’s automotive history as it targets going green.
The New Ora Good Cat EV model is built under China’s Great Wall Motor Co (GWM) auto brand but all of its parts are domestically made.
The Thai government plans for BEVs to account for 30 percent of total car manufacturing by 2030. This includes the production plan for 725,000 zero-emission cars, 675,000 electric motorcycles, and 34,000 electric buses and trucks
The car was revealed at GWM’s factory in Rayong, with delivery scheduled to commence later this month.
The popularity of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) continues to rise in Thailand amid competition from new electric car brands, said Thai Minister of Industry Pimphattra Wichaikul at the car’s launch ceremony.
“GWM’s Good Cat, in particular, remains highly favored among Thai consumers,” she added, noting that the ministry will continue to support and promote the EV industry.
Support includes collaborating with relevant agencies from both the public and private sectors to drive policies and various measures through the National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee, she said.
“This aims to attract investments in the electric vehicle industry and essential components in the country, promote Thailand as a base for EVs and component production in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, and foster sustainable development on a global scale,” she said.
As one of the first Chinese auto brands to operate overseas, GWM began car production in Rayong in 2020 to become the first Chinese automotive brand to start fully operating in Thailand.
“The New GWM Ora Good Cat is officially rolling out in Thailand, marking a significant breakthrough as the first locally produced pure electric vehicle in the Thai automotive industry in 60 years,” said Vudhigorn Suriyachantananont, the vice-president of marketing of Great Wall Motor ASEAN.
Apart from making Thailand the first market for GWM to start local EV production globally, he said that this is also a crucial step for the firm in responding to the kingdom’s strategy to transition to a regional EV hub.
The Thai government plans for BEVs to account for 30 percent of total car manufacturing by 2030. This includes the production plan for 725,000 zero-emission cars, 675,000 electric motorcycles, and 34,000 electric buses and trucks.
Last month, the government approved an extension of its EV promotion campaign, known as “EV 3.5”, to continue supporting both EV manufacturing and adoption until 2027.
Under the EV 3.5 measures, the government will provide subsidies of approximately 100,000 baht ($2,852) per vehicle for imported EVs and require car manufacturers to establish EV manufacturing plants in Thailand at a ratio of two to three times the number of imports.