Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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EV target within sight

The government has set an ambitious target to increase electric vehicle (EV) production by 30% by 2030 and become an EV hub in the Southeast Asian region. This is one of Thailand's efforts to push its carbon neutrality policy.

Thailand has promised the United Nations it will reach a long-term goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2065. The nation also aims to be a leader in carbon neutrality in the Asean region while using sustainable development as the main engine to grow its economy. To achieve these goals, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has instructed that old government vehicles be replaced with EVs.

However, the measures are still far from the 30% increase in EV production by 2030.

Thailand’s policy of positioning itself as a regional hub for EVs still demands more commitment and decisive action.

As the nation stands at the forefront of Southeast Asia’s EV revolution, thanks to a huge peak in the sales of EVs, it is imperative that every obstacle in the path to cleaner, greener transport is efficiently dismantled. The recently unveiled strategies are promising, but they must be backed by all-out efforts and comprehensive support measures.

One of the most potent tools in the government’s arsenal is tax incentives. By waiving import taxes and excise duties, and offering substantial rebates for EV buyers, Thailand can significantly enhance affordability. This approach not only boosts consumer confidence but also fuels the local EV industry, making it an attractive investment prospect for international stakeholders.

Financial support should extend beyond tax incentives. Low-interest loans tailored for EV manufacturers and consumers can stimulate production and purchasing alike. This proactive approach encourages both corporations and individuals to embrace EVs, accelerating the transformation of Thailand’s automotive landscape.

One of the most important factors that will bolster the EVs industry is the availability of charging stations. The government must promote investment in building a comprehensive charging infrastructure nationwide. Strategic placement of charging stations in urban centres and along highways ensures eliminates “range anxiety”, making EVs a practical choice for all.

Collaboration between the government, research institutions, and private enterprises is vital. Research and development initiatives focused on battery technology, energy efficiency, and sustainable materials can catapult Thailand’s EV industry onto global stage.

The industry is new for Thai auto manufacturers that have been making traditional internal combustion engine cars for decades. Government-sponsored training programmes, partnerships with educational institutions and technology transfer from key producers can bridge the skill gap.

Achieving regional leadership in EV production and utilisation demands a steadfast, long-term commitment. Flexibility and adaptability to market needs are key. With a resolute commitment, Thailand can not only meet but also exceed its EV goals, setting an inspiring example for the entire region.

The vision of Thailand as the regional hub for EVs is within reach, but only if the government invests its full might, particularly in terms of incentives. Bold decisions, coupled with sustained efforts, will transform this vision into a reality. The time for action is now to pave the way for Thailand leading the charge towards a cleaner, greener tomorrow.

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