Major mobility shift looms for Thailand's automotive industry
By Sun Guangyong
People's Daily app


(Photo: Agencies)

Bangkok (People’s Daily) – “Evolution of Automotive”, a thought-provoking seminar centered on preparing Thailand for electric mobility was held Wednesday in Bangkok. 

Organized by SAIC Motor-CP and MG Sales (Thailand) as a manufacturer and distributor of MG cars in Thailand, the seminar focused on opportunities to shift Thailand’s automotive landscape with the use of battery electric vehicles (BEVs). 

Seven automotive experts and respected scholars from government agencies and private corporations outlined progress, direction and possibilities to enhance the Thai automotive industry with vehicles equipped with advanced, alternative mobility technologies. 

“Global communities today are prioritizing next-gen vehicles which are generally designed to alleviate escalating air pollution and enhance people’s quality of life,” said Pongsak Lertruedeewattanavong, vice president of MG Sales (Thailand) Co., Ltd. 

“BEVs, to be specific, are recognized as eco-friendly vehicles as they do not emit carbon dioxide, a notorious cause of greenhouse gases and smog. The use of electric motors also means noise from vehicles will be notably decreased.” 

BEVs are being promoted in many countries and 1.26 million units were delivered last year, or 74 percent more than in 2017. At this rate, it’s expected that 20 million EVs should be on streets around the world by the end of next year. 

“Thailand is now on the way to completely transforming our mobility landscape by phasing out fossil fuel vehicles and introducing next-gen vehicle platforms, specifically hybrid vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). The next progressive step for the Thai automotive industry is BEVs,” continued Pongsak. 

“Additionally, significant investments in BEVs, including supportive programs from the government, have been put in place. Eligible manufacturers under BOI’s funding programs are exempt from paying tariffs on imported parts and components. 

“BEVs assembled by these manufacturers are also entitled to a three-year special vehicle excise exemption period. Moreover, expansion of public chargers operated by both private and public sectors are becoming common place nowadays as we prepare for a notable increase in next-gen vehicles, especially BEVs. 

“The brand MG has been active in Thailand for five years and we have delivered more than 50,000 vehicles to customers nationwide.” 

Pongsak said 20 models of PHEVs, BEVs, and fuel cell vehicles (FCV) by SAIC are now available for Chinese and international consumers and they are going to introduce MG’s first commercially available BEV, the MG ZS EV, to the Thai automotive market in June 2019. 

“It is an outstanding electric SUV with an i-SMART intelligent connectivity system designed to attract young-gen drivers.”