Thailand wants to be the Southeast Asia's hub of electric vehicles (EVs) manufacturing.
Thailand, Southeast Asia's largest auto producer, has nicknamed itself "the Detroit of Asia". China, the world's largest market, has the world's highly advanced battery manufacturing technology. Electric vehicle markets in ASEAN countries have yet to take off, but the potential of a market with over 6.6 billion people in the coming years is huge.
On Feburary 2022, Thailand's government approved a package of incentives including tax cuts and subsidies to attract overseas manufacturers to the country to produce hybrid-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles. It's part of Thailand's ambitious plan to transform 50 percent of the country's total auto production to EVs by 2030 and become a production base for EVs in Southeast Asia.
From January to September 2022, Chinese investment in Thailand is estimated to be around $1.2 billion, making China Thailand's largest source of applied foreign direct investment (FDI), mostly in the electronic industry and the electric car industry. In September 2022, BYD, China's biggest maker of electric and hybrid cars, announced plans to build its first overseas electric passenger car plant in Rayong, a coastal city south-east of Bangkok, Thailand.