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Big business in Thailand bets on government’s lofty EV goals

Big companies in Thailand are investing heavily to foster the takeup of electric cars in response to government’s goal of turning the country into Southeast Asia’s EVs hub within the next decade.

The world is going green and Thailand is jumping on the bandwagon. The National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee recently revealed that it is considering a new EV production target that would see EVs account for half of Thailand’s auto manufacturing by 2030. The country is expected to be making 1 million EVs a year by then.

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.

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.

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.

Nikkei Asia has learned that at least six big companies have jumped into the EV infrastructure and charging business.

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