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The Growth of Electric Vehicle in Thailand

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is well underway in Asia, with countries like China, Japan, and South Korea leading the charge toward EV adoption. As environmental concerns mount and the need for cleaner transportation options grows, more people are turning to EVs. Thailand, in particular, has seen a rapid growth in EV sales, positioning itself as a key player in the EV market. According to The nation, EV sales surged from 32,081 units in 2022 to 131,856 units in 2023, representing an impressive 311% growth.


More international automakers and brands are making efforts to introduce and sell EVs in Thailand. According to Counterpoint Research, the country now accounts for almost 79% of all EVs sold in Southeast Asia. Among these, Tesla stands out as a well-known brand renowned for its high-performance products, including the Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. Tesla's entry into the Thai market with competitive prices for their Model 3 and Model Y has surprised many potential buyers. However, it is Chinese automakers that have recently dominated the Southeast Asian EV market, with three out of every four EVs sold in the first quarter being made by Chinese companies. Leading the pack is BYD, with around 38.6 thousand registrations, followed by MG and NETA with nearly 19.54 and 14.82 thousand registrations, respectively, according to Statista.


Thailand is rapidly emerging as a key player in the EV market, driven by government incentives and a growing charging infrastructure. In February 2022, the Thai government introduced a new incentive aimed at boosting the EV industry as part of its broader strategy to transition 50% of total auto production to EVs by 2030, positioning itself as a production hub for cleaner vehicles in Southeast Asia. According to the International Trade Administration, this incentive package is expected to reduce the price of each EV by an estimated $2,200 to $4,800. Additionally, policies such as reduced import tariffs are set to stimulate wider and faster adoption of EVs in the country. The new incentive packages provide substantial exemptions in import duties and excise taxes for various EV models, while efforts are also being made to expand the charging infrastructure. According to Thailand board of investment, the government aims to establish 690 charging stations by 2036 and plans to produce 1.2 million EVs per year.

The incentives proposed by the government have drawn investments from Chinese carmakers like Great Wall Motor and BYD, who are setting up local manufacturing facilities in Thailand. Collectively, Chinese EV manufacturers have pledged to invest at least $1.44 billion in these production facilities. Government initiatives, including policies and incentives, play a crucial role in promoting EV adoption by making EVs more attractive and accessible to consumers. Thailand aims to transition about one-third of its annual vehicle production, totaling 2.5 million vehicles, to EVs by 2030.

Thailand has made GREAT progress not only as the leading consumer of EVs but also in maintaining this status, and it is actively working to maintain this status by further promoting EV adoption and production within the country. As nations across Southeast Asia and beyond prioritize sustainability, collaborative efforts between governments and other stakeholders are crucial. Effective policies should encompass a range of strategies aimed at fostering a supportive ecosystem for EV adoption. It is vital to tailor these initiatives to suit the unique needs and circumstances of each region, ensuring the success of efforts to promote sustainable transportation options.


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