The Thai Taxi Network Trade Association has submitted five proposals to the Department of Land Transport (DLT) to push for electric taxis.
The association’s president, Witoon Naewpanich, said on Tuesday that he had handed over a letter to DLT director-general Jirut Wisanjit, seeking support for electric taxis after Thailand was affected severely by Covid-19.
The pandemic affected taxi drivers, taxi operators, and taxi cooperatives as the number of customers was reduced significantly due to the lockdowns.
He said the association had asked the DLT to consider the following five proposals:
Increase the usage duration of taxis to at least 12 years to make investment worthwhile
Allow varied vehicle sizes to be an alternative for operators and customers
Set a fare rate to reflect the true cost
Coordinate with the Energy Ministry and related organisations to support the charging system of electric taxis to be efficient and the charging price to be appropriate to the fare rate
Publicise the electric taxi project to taxi operators and customers
He said the EV taxi project would reduce pollution, fuel cost, fuel import, and satisfy customers.
Witoon explained that they were affected the most during the middle of 2021, as the number of taxis went down to only 20,000 from 85,000 before the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, each driver earned 2,000 baht on average per day before deducting expenses. However, they earned less than 400 baht during the middle of 2021.
Witoon said that the effect of the pandemic lasted for almost three years and some 10,000 taxis were abandoned on the streets.
After the lockdown was eased, more Thais and foreigners are using taxis, helping them earn on average about 2,000 baht a day before deducting expenses.
He expected the number of taxis in the near future to be around 60,000, which will be not sufficient. He suspected some leftover taxis might not be available, as some of them required maintenance of more than 100,000 baht each.
He said taxi operators were affected by Covid-19 as a result they lack liquidity. Moreover, financial institutions are not lending to them.
He said at least 30,000 taxis must be registered within two years to be sufficient but operators will not register more fossil fuel car taxis.
Witoon said that operators are facing cost problems from cars, parts, and fuels in both NGV and LPG after the sharp increase in price.
He said that the DLT had hired the Thailand Development Research Institute Foundation to conduct research. One research said that taxi operators do not get enough income even if they work more than 12 hours per day.
Without increasing the fare rate, they will earn enough if all costs could be reduced, so he agreed to push for electric taxis.
However, it required cooperation from several government agencies, including the DLT to make the project successful.
Witoon said, “The DLT should take this opportunity in planning a taxi system for the future to be efficient in car size and usage duration to become a motivation for operators to invest in electric taxi systems.”
The Cabinet has approved a budget of 2.923 billion baht for measures to support the use of electric cars and motorcycles.
Government Spokesman Anucha Burapachaisr said on Tuesday that the Cabinet had approved the budget for EV measures according to the Notifications of the Excise Department on March 21.
The conditions according to the notifications are:
1. Battery-electric cars with less than 10 seats and costing under 2 million baht
Battery-electric cars with over 10 kilowatts/hour but less than 30 kilowatts/hour battery will receive a subsidy of 70,000 baht per vehicle.
Battery-electric cars with over 30 kilowatts/hour battery will receive a subsidy of 150,000 baht per vehicle.
2. Battery-electric pickup trucks with over 30 kilowatts/hour battery, manufactured and sold domestically for less than 2 million baht will receive a subsidy of 150,000 per vehicle.
3. Battery-electric motorcycles costing under 2 million baht will receive a subsidy of 18,000 per vehicle.
Applicants must be eligible under the notifications, such as industrial operators with factories or importers appointed as official dealers.
Applicants must submit the retail price structure to the Excise Department so it can check how the subsidy will affect the price after discount. Also, they must collect proof of sale and register EVs and send them to the department every quarter.
They must make an agreement with the Excise Department to acknowledge and follow the department’s rules and conditions. They will have to repay the subsidy amount with 7.5 per cent interest per year if they fail to adhere to the conditions.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry reported that 18,100 EV cars and 8,800 EV motorcycles were eligible for the EV measures this year.
The measure is aimed at boosting the confidence of investors while the demand from consumers will increase.
The ministry is also encouraging the manufacturing of more battery electric vehicles to make Thailand the base for EV manufacturing while also improving the competition capability of EVs and parts.
Charging electric vehicles (EV) will cost 7.5 baht per unit from Monday onwards, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) announced on Friday.
The fee will be charged at all MEA stations, namely Wat Liap, Bang Khunthien, Bang Khen, Bang Yai, Thonburi, Samut Prakan, Lat Krabang, Nonthaburi, Bang Kapi, Bang Phli, Yan Nawa, Bang Na, Nuanchan, Bang Bua Thong, Min Buri, Phloen Chit, and Bang Phut.
The fee will also apply at partner charging stations at Ban Suan La Salle, Bang Khun Non 7-eleven branches, THER Ladprao 93 village, MK Plus Auto Care and Tire and Benchakitti Park.
Meanwhile, a 50 per cent cashback is being offered to EV users who pay via the MEA EV Wallet. The promotion, marking MEA’s 64th anniversary, will run from August 1 to September 5.
There has been an increase in demand for electrical vehicles (EV) as the price of fossil fuel has been increasing, while the government has been implementing policies support EVs, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) revealed.
However, a shortage of semiconductors has hampered production, as a result buyers might have to wait more than three months to get delivery of their EV.
The FTI said that in the first five months of 2022, 1,567 battery electric vehicles (BEV) were registered in May, increasing 189.65 per cent year on year (YoY), while 5,702 BEVs were registered in the first five months of 2022, up 156.15 per cent YoY.
There were 5,362 newly registered hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) in May, increasing by 67.77 per cent YoY, while 27,093 HEVs were registered in the first five months of 2022, up 46.8 per cent YoY.
In addition, 1,056 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles were registered in May, increasing by 50 per cent YoY, and 4,862 were registered in the first five months of 2022, increasing by 55.09 per cent YoY.
New measures in the pipeline to promote electric vehicles will boost their use in Thailand “exponentially”, the Excise Department announced on Monday.
The new measures may include support for charging stations, said department spokesman Nattakorn Uthainsut, who declined to give further details.
The government’s current policy includes cash subsidies, import tariff exemption and an excise tax cut from 8 to 2 per cent to encourage buyers to buy EVs instead of combustion-engine vehicles. The cash subsidies range between Bt70,000 and Bt150,000 depending on the battery capacity of the EV.
Nattakorn added that another five or six vehicle manufacturers have expressed interest in signing up to the Excise Department’s EV promotion programme. Four automakers have already joined the programme, namely Great Wall Motors, MG Thailand, Toyota Thailand and Deco Green Energy.
He said Thais were becoming more interested in electric vehicles, citing sales of over 11,400 EVs at the Bangkok International Motor Show earlier this year.
Along with its measures to support EV sales, the department is also contemplating raising excise tax on combustion-engine vehicles by one or two per cent, Nattakorn added.
Meanwhile, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), said it would ensure that sufficient power supply for rising EV use over the next five to 10 years.
Egat would also open more charging stations to create a nationwide network for EV drivers, said its assistant governor Warit Ratanachuen.
Russia’s trade minister said the crisis brought on by the West’s economic boycott would prompt his country to expand markets in Asia and also give Thailand the opportunity to bag a bigger market share in Russia.
What effect do the western sanctions have on Russia and globally?
Maxim Reshetnikov – First of all, thank you so much for the opportunity to answer questions and convey our position to the people of Thailand. Relations between Russia and Thailand have a long history; this year we are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries. They have not only a wonderful history but also great opportunities for development. I’m sure they have a bright future. Regarding the sanctions, Russia has been living under sanctions for a long time, back in 2014 the first package of sanctions was adopted. As a result, we were able to take advantage of the external pressure to strengthen our economy, we significantly increased both our agro-industrial sector and our automotive industry, and used this time to diversify our exports, including fuel and energy. At the same time, the wave of sanctions in recent months is certainly unprecedented. They covered more than 10 thousand Russian legal entities and individuals, and affected many sectors of the economy. Moreover, they went far beyond the legal framework that was established in the world. I am talking about the seizure of gold and currency reserves as well as the seizure of property of the Russian legal entities and citizens in Europe. Now we can already say that Russia withstood this sanctions pressure. Nowadays our financial markets have stabilized, our ruble has strengthened, inflation is declining, processes of structural restructuring of the economy have been launched, and a reorientation from the western markets and the western value chains to the East, primarily to Asian markets, is underway.
And, as in all such situations, sanctions pose problems on the one hand, but at the same time, they open opportunities. Opportunities for the Thai economy to enter the Russian market and fill empty sectors of the economy, that have formed. Opportunities for the Russian enterprises, which are now actively looking for new markets and reorienting their products: fuel and energy resources, oil, oil products, gas, fertilizers, food products, engineering and machine goods. We are here to discuss how to make the most profit from the opportunities that are now opening up.
Russian economy’s sectors that Thailand can make investments
Maxim Reshetnikov – The first thing I would like to say is that we have a successful example of Thailand’s investments in the Russian economy – this is the CP Foods company, which has invested more than 2 billion US dollars in the Russian agriculture and is generally developing effectively. It is a notable player in the Russian market, which develops export projects. Possible areas of investment are fuel and energy resources. What also we care about now is that we are facing a major restructuring, including in the automotive industry. Considering that Thailand has a serious industry related to the production of automotive components, this area may also be promising. Both the Russian and Thai economies are very diversified and complement each other quite well. One of the issues that the Thai government is interested in is mineral fertilizers. We care about it as well, because we are reliable exporters of these fertilizers. Frankly, we have a lot of spheres.
Maxim Reshetnikov: We understood that such risks would be possible, therefore, in recent years, Russia has been developing its own financial messaging system. Inside, all-Russian banks are connected to this financial system, so there are no problems with the money transaction within the country. We also have our own system of bank cards “MIR”. We also propose to introduce it in Thailand. Moreover, many foreign banks connect to the mentioned system of financial messages, and this provides us with independence in making payments. We welcome the connection of our banks to the Chinese CIPS system, which we also use to service export and import operations.
The decision of Western countries to cut off from the Russian fuel, what are the long-term consequences?
Maxim Reshetnikov: We assume that Russia is a very large supplier of resources. It is difficult to replace it with anything else. Moreover, there will be a reorientation of resources: it is obvious that Europe will take oil and oil products from the American continent or from Asia, while Russia will offer and promote its oil to the Asian market. But this will require a fairly significant change in logistics and, unfortunately, for the consumer, this will result in an increase in the cost of petroleum products. First of all, European consumers will have to pay for this, because the cost of fuel will increase there, while Asian consumers, in our point of view, will benefit from it, because competition in Asian markets will increase in this regard.
How long the current situation in the world will continue?
Maxim Reshetnikov: We assume that this is a fairly long-term trend. Accelerating the reorientation to the eastern markets is a strategic direction for us, and we will make every effort to be integrated into value chains together with the Asian countries, Arab countries, and South America. The world is becoming less monocentric and current events will push the dollar-based monetary system away from the world. There will be more diverse technological development. The world will become a larger number of independent economic centres.
About walkout of several countries during the meeting.
Maxim Reshetnikov: It is better to ask for comments from those countries that came out. The Thai side did a gigantic job in preparation for the event, during the conduction of the event, in negotiating the texts of the joint statement, trying to reconcile very different positions and come out in a positive way. I understand what huge efforts were made. It seems to me that it is very important that discussions move beyond words, the desire to achieve results and eventually reach a constructive conclusion. And such kinds of demarches that you mentioned are not conducive to reaching such agreements.
The visit of President Putin to the APEC Summit.
Maxim Reshetnikov: This question should be addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.
What problems in the economy make President Putin worry mostly?
Maxim Reshetnikov: The subject of the President’s attention in the economic sphere is, first of all, the incomes of Russian citizens, therefore our entire economic policy is built on two ultimate goals: the reduction of unemployment and the growth of wages and incomes, including social benefits of citizens. These issues are being discussed and our efforts are focused on them.
The price of electric vehicles have become a whole lot cheaper after incentive packages were implemented at the beginning of May.
Completely built-up (CBU) battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with less than 10 seats, for example, received a tariff cut from 20 to 40 per cent.
Here are the incentive packages and prices of EVs:
EVs costing under THB2 million
BEVs with a retail price of less than THB2 million will be exempted from import tariffs if the original tariffs are less than 40 per cent, and will be reduced by 40 per cent if the original tariffs exceed 40 per cent.
EVs priced between THB2 million and THB7 million
BEVs sporting a 30 kilowatts/hour battery and costing THB2 million to THB7 million will be exempt from import tariffs if the original tariffs are less than 20 per cent, and will be reduced by 20 per cent if the original tariffs exceed 20 per cent.
The government also approved a direct subsidy for EV importers and manufacturers, which are separated into two categories:
THB70,000 direct subsidy for cars with 30kWh batteries
THB150,000 direct subsidy for cars sporting more than a 30kWh battery
EVs become cheaper
Some 31,000 electric vehicles were booked at the recent Bangkok International Motor Show 2022, reflecting an increasing interest in EVs.
News agency Bangkokbiz surveyed the price of EVs in Thailand from March to April. Here are some examples of the discount on EVs:
ORA Good Cat 400 Tech (47.7 kWh battery): from THB989,000 to THB828,500
ORA Good Cat 400 Pro (47.7 kWh battery): from THB1,059,000 to THB898,500
ORA Good Cat 500 Ultra (63.1 kWh battery): from THB1,199,000 to THB1,038,500
New MG ZS D (50.3 kWh battery): from THB1,189,000 to THB949,000
New MG ZS X (50.3 kWh battery): from THB1,269,000 to THB1,023,000
MG EP (50.3 kWh battery): from THB988,000 baht to THB761,000
MG EP Plus (50.3 kWh battery): from THB998,000 to THB771,000
Nissan Leaf (40 kWh battery): from THB1,990,000 to THB1,499,000.