Large companies in Thailand are betting on the government’s high EV targets

Large companies in Thailand are betting on the government’s high EV targets

  © Reuters Siam Cement Group has launched a  new business, called the EV Solution Platform, which offers integrated EV supply and after-sales services. Energy Absolute, a renewable power generator, already has 400 EV charging stations across Thailand and develops apps to help owners of electric cars find nearby charging points. The company aims to have up to 1,600 stations next year.

One fast-growing field in Thailand is the EV infrastructure business. The Energy Ministry says there are 1,200 EV charging stations nationwide at the moment. The government does not have a specific target for how many EV stations there should be. Most EV stations are being built by private companies eager to cash in on rising demand, and the government does have an official policy to promote EVs. According to the Thailand Board of Investment, investment in EV manufacturing and related infrastructure in the 2017-2019 period reached 79 billion baht ($2.5 billion). Over the next three years, that spending is forecast to rise at a much faster rate than even the record pace set over the previous three-year period.

Nikkei Asia has learned that at least six big companies have jumped into the EV infrastructure and charging business. The target is a clear signal for automakers, energy producers and other companies to seize the opportunity to invest in EV infrastructure, as the number of people driving electric cars is expected to rise substantially over the next few years.

As many companies are competing in the EV charging station business, the country’s Energy Regulatory Commission has initially set the EV charging price at a relatively low of 2.63 baht ($0.08) per kilowatt-hour to promote the use of EVs. However, some newcomers such as PTTOR are trying to attract consumers by offering free charging for a few months. Thailand’s EV promotion measures could affect global automakers’ strategies as well. Thailand set out to become the auto manufacturing hub of ASEAN about 20 years ago, managing to draw investment from big Japanese carmakers, followed by automakers from Europe and the U.S. This created jobs and transferred technologies that helped Thailand’s auto industry develop. “SCG also offers financial services that offer diverse financial packages for leasing charging stations and other options,” said Abhijit Datta, managing director of SCG International.

Siam Cement Group (SCG), has launched its “EV Solution Platform,” which offers integrated EV supply and after-sales services. The company will deliver an array of products and services, including EV supplier selection and sourcing for the Energy Storage System, a modern battery system for EVs. It is also installing EV charging stations at office buildings and in homes. PTTOR, the retail arm of Thai oil and gas conglomerate PTT, is also trying to catch the wave. The company has built 30 charging stations in Bangkok and surrounding areas, and hopes to have 300 EV charging stations across the country over the next two years. Other companies, such as gas station operator PTG energy and Bangchak, an energy conglomerate, are with working with government agencies and jumping into the business.

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