Toyota Motor Thailand will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Excise Department on Friday to make its future electric vehicles eligible for the government’s price subsidy, the department chief.
Excise director-general Lawaron Saengsanit said the signing ceremony would be presided over by Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
Lawaron expressed confidence that other EV manufacturers would later join the subsidy programme. He said a Chinese automaker under the brand Neta has also expressed interest to join the programme, but it has yet to hold talks with its parent firm.
He said he also expected good news from other Japanese auto manufacturers after Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow held a roadshow in Japan to promote EV investment in Thailand.
So far, Great Wall Motor (GWM) Manufacturing Ltd and MG Sales Thailand Ltd have signed MoUs with the Excise Department for their EVs to be eligible for excise tax reduction and subsidy of Bt70,000 to Bt150,000.
Lawaron said about 6,000 EVs were sold in the recent Bangkok International Motor Show.
He said the sales of EVs by the two brands have been suspended following shortage of certain equipment but the two Chinese brands have assured him that the problem would be solved soon.
The director-general said the government has set aside THB3 billion for subsidy in the first year, which would be enough for 20,000 EVs.
A source from the Finance Ministry said only THB10 million from the THB3-billion budget has been utilised so far.
The source said the sale of EVs was still low because manufacturers lacked chips that were key parts for making EVs so they could not meet the demands of buyers.
The source added that GWM has so far applied for subsidies for its 2,000 EVs, and MG for 3,000 EVs. The subsidies will be granted when they hand over the vehicles to buyers. Even when all the 5,000 EVs are given the subsidies, only THB750 million would have been spent from the budget, the source added.
Source: The Nation