The Rise of Electric Vehicle Investment in Thailand

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The electric vehicle (EV) market in Thailand has seen remarkable growth over the past year. As of January 2024, the cumulative registered electric vehicles in the battery electric vehicles (BEV) category reached 147,743 units, marking a 301.75 percent increase compared to January last year. Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) exports also increased 478.62 percent, totaling 4,953 units, showing a positive investment trend. However, the production of internal combustion vehicles (ICE) decreased by 95 percent from last year, amounting to only 32,655 units. In further support of the Thai government’s EV policy announced in 2023, the Thai EV Board has approved EV 3.5 measures spanning 4 years (2024 – 2027). These measures include up to a 40% reduction in import taxes for budget electric cars in 2024-2025 and a 2% excise tax for cars priced under US$191 thousand (7 million baht). 

Major Chinese Investment

Thailand aims to be the leading EV production center and export hub within the ASEAN region. Among the array of nations eyeing investment opportunities in Thailand’s burgeoning EV sector, Chinese companies emerge as significant players. Changan, the fourth-largest electric vehicle maker in China, has committed approximately US$244 million to establish its first factory at the WHA Rayong Industrial Estate, with plans to commence EV production in early 2025. Similarly, Ora Good Cat EV became the first Chinese brand to be assembled in Thailand started in January 2024 at the Great Wall Motor (GWM) plant in Rayong. GWM also aims to introduce 15 new models of electric vehicles or xEVs in 2025. Additionally, GAC Aion Automobile Manufacturing announced plans to spend US$169 million building EV and battery factories in Thailand over the next 3-5 years.  

Great Wall Motor (GWM) plant in Rayong. Source: GWM

New Business Opportunities

The growth of the electric vehicle market in Thailand has attracted attention from both investors and innovators, cultivating the rise of many new Thai business ventures, including the car-sharing applications, smart charging stations, and Thai EV brands.

  • Haupcar is a platform that provides car sharing services for EV cars. The application service has been growing widely among the new generation of customers. Haupcar has more than 1,000 customer service points across the country where there are more than 2,000 vehicles available from over 500 partners. Haupcar provides both EV and ICE vehicles across various car sizes. 
  • EV Station PluZ: PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited (PTT OR) currently has 115 EV PluZ electric charging stations. The stations provide more than three different types of chargers, consisting of AC-Type 2, DC-CCS Combo 2 and DC-CHAdeMO, supporting all electric car manufacturers in Thailand. The stations can be used with the EV Station PluZ application on smartphone, so users can check the location of the EV station and charging time conveniently.
  • MuvMi is the first electric tuk-tuk ridesharing service provider in Thailand, offered by Urban Mobility Tech Co., Ltd.It can be called through an application to travel to specific districts. Currently the service has more than 1,000,000 million users in Thailand.  

Several other Thai EV brands have sprung up, including:

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Authored by

Roongrada Tamanakijprasart is a research analyst based in Thailand.


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