To boost the sales of electric vehicles and make full EVs more attractive, Thailand’s excise department is looking at a full restructuring of the vehicle excise tax system, in favour of EVs versus internal combustion engine-powered vehicles.

But it all depends on the country’s overall direction when it comes to EVs, and there’s a government committee overseeing the process of EV development in Thailand, including timelines and measures to boost adoption. This was shared by excise department director-general Lavaron Sangsnit, reported by the Bangkok Post.

The D-G pointed to previous excise tax measures that supported government incentives, while helping to phase out outdated technology and products that were not eco-friendly. Different excise tax rates were meted out to encourage the use of four-stroke motorcycles (two-stroke bikes are more polluting) and unleaded petrol. In those cases, excise tax rates nudged consumers to use products the government wanted to push.

Lavaron added that besides tax policy, there are other measures that can be taken to boost EV adoption in Thailand. For instance, the government could use funds from the Energy Conservation and Promotion Fund to subsidise the price of EVs. Investment in infrastructure such as charging stations is also crucial, besides things like designated parking lots for EVs.

Thailand will have to finalise its tax and incentives policy for eco-cars soon, as the current policy is due to expire in 2025 and carmakers want clarity so that they can plan ahead.

At present, EVs attract 8% excise tax, but for carmakers that have been granted investment privileges from the Board of Investment (BoI), a 2% tax rate applies. In addition, from 2020 to the end of 2022, a 0% rate is applied under a special BoI investment promotion.

The current Thai excise tax structure of vehicles is based on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and there are four vehicle categories – passenger cars with seats for no more than 10 people; pick-up trucks that are passenger vehicles, double cabs and space cabs; eco-cars and cars that use E85 and B10 biofuel; and EVs. More on Thailand’s EV push here.