Tesla, the world’s largest electric car manufacturer, has registered its Thailand’s office with a capital of 3 million baht (around US$87,700), according to the Commerce Ministry’s data.
Tesla (Thailand) Ltd. will be selling electric vehicles (EVs) including passenger cars, pick-up trucks, and more, the ministry’s Department of Business Development said in its online database.
The company’s board members include three Tesla directors: David Jon Feinstein, Vaibhav Taneja, and Yaron Klein.
Despite hopes that Thailand could host Tesla’s manufacturing plants, it appears that the company will only sell vehicles in the country, rather than producing or assembling them.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s government stated that Tesla had shown interest in investments of a battery and EV plant in the industrial complex in Central Java province, the Jakarta Globe reported.
Indonesia is the world’s largest supplier of nickel, the key raw material in manufacturing EV batteries.
Tesla’s entry is aligned with the government’s policies encouraging the use of EVs to support the transition into carbon neutrality. Recently in March, the Thai government approved 3 billion baht from its fiscal budget of 2022 to fund the incentives on EVs. Those include subsidies on EV’s retail prices and exemption in excise tax.
The Thai government has also developed a 10-year plan for the auto industry to transition from cars that run on fossil fuels to EVs, with the goal of EVs accounting for half of total car production by 2023.
In 2021, Thailand registered 5,781 new EVs for use last year, including 3,673 electric motorcycles, according to The Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand (EVAT).
Analysts at Nomura Securities said that sentiment on Thai firms related to the EV industry such as KCE Electronics Plc (KCE), Delta Electronics Thailand Plc (DELTA), and Energy Absolute Plc (EA) will likely benefit from this news.
“KCE produces electronic printed circuit boards, whilst DELTA makes battery components,” said Nomura analysts.