A renewable energy company in Thailand has electric vehicle dreams


Many individuals anticipate electric autos to be fixtures in a future world that depends on renewable energy. However not many EV corporations began out as renewable energy corporations.

One company making an attempt to drag off that feat is Bangkok-based Energy Absolute. The biodiesel producer and renewable energy company branched into the business EV enterprise in 2019.

In March of this 12 months, Thailand set a aim of 1 million electric autos on its roads by 2025 — and it hopes that determine will develop to fifteen million a decade later. That would come with not simply personal cars however business autos — supply vans, vehicles, buses and the like.

A former securities dealer, Somphote Ahunai, began Energy Absolute in 2006. He took the company public in Thailand in 2013 and started increasing into energy storage in 2016, when the company acquired shares in Taiwan-based Amita Applied sciences, an energy storage producer. It is now in the ultimate phases of constructing a $3 billion battery gigafactory venture to make lithium-ion batteries.

Ahunai advised CNBC’s “Managing Asia” that the federal government’s efforts to advertise EV adoption in Thailand have helped him to begin the venture, and now he says he is urging the federal government “to open up the market and create a good coverage for the EV market.”

Nevertheless, the pandemic has affected the company’s foray into EVs. An order for 3,500 five-seater hatchbacks was canceled by an area taxi company as tourism dried up. Ahunai made a fast pivot to give attention to business autos and battery storage as an alternative.

“Many producers, they’re specializing in the passenger automotive. Not many individuals are specializing in the business vehicle but, as a result of they can not overcome make the vehicle cost quicker and make the battery last more,” Ahunai mentioned.

Ahunai’s plan is to put in 1,000 charging stations nationwide in the subsequent few years.

A charging signal sits at an Energy Absolute Anyplace charging station in Bangkok, Thailand, 2019.

Nicolas Axelrod | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs

“We’ve got rolled out virtually 500 charging stations nationwide, primarily in Bangkok and neighborhood,” Ahunai mentioned, including that the company holds virtually 80% market share for charging stations in Thailand.

His give attention to business autos is in line with Thailand’s coverage to place some 70,000 business electric autos on the street yearly.

Learn extra about electric autos from CNBC Professional

“If we efficiently safe [the commercial electric vehicle] section … then we create economies of scale for us to enter the opposite segments,” akin to passenger vehicles, Ahunai mentioned.

Japanese, American and German automakers all have manufactured autos in Thailand, however regardless of the nation’s auto-making experience, it would not have an internationally acknowledged vehicle model of its personal. Ahunai mentioned he believes EVs may change that. He needs Energy Absolute to be entrance and heart on that effort.

“We consider that by utilizing [our] know-how and Thailand’s [auto-making] infrastructure, we are able to use that to be the springboard to the worldwide market,” Ahunai mentioned. “Not less than, we are able to go into the ASEAN market, which has virtually 600 million inhabitants. So, that could be a good marketplace for us at the start, to begin with.”

Proper now, the majority of the company’s income nonetheless comes from renewable energy akin to wind and photo voltaic, however Ahunai mentioned his foray into business EVs might be an vital supply of future income.

“In the event you take a look at what we’re investing [in] now,” he mentioned, “it can completely change the income construction of the company in just a few years’ time.”



A renewable energy company in Thailand has electric vehicle dreams Source link A renewable energy company in Thailand has electric vehicle dreams

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