Written by Josh Bryer
As the world awakens to the longevity of the EV Battery market, it’s Europe and China who get all the early sunlight. But as the morning unfolds, a certain humble Southeast Asian country is starting to see the light of recognition.
Most car brands have a manufacturing presence in Thailand, and several Chinese ones have, or soon will have. But for those who know their carmaker stats, that won’t come as a huge surprise. Thailand is the #1 Auto Manufacturer in SE Asia and #4 in Asia. It’s also the world #2 One-Ton Pickup Manufacturer. And to consolidate these numbers, it’s offering lucrative terms like 10-year tax breaks to EV and EV Battery makers.
It’s such an attractive proposition that PTT, a large Thai oil and gas company, has just entered into a joint venture with Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, trading as Foxconn, to develop an EV production facility worth US$1-2 billion in the Thai Eastern Economic Corridor. Great news for the Thai economy and its push for the adoption of EVs.
Foxconn are already a familiar name in EV circles for their work with Fisker electric cars. It has also unveiled three prototype EVs: The Model C SUV, Model E Sedan and Model T City Bus, all under the Foxtron brand. They’re also famous for producing the iPhone, and there’ve been rumours of a collaboration with Apple, a move which could see the smartphone giant leading the EV race.
But more to the point, it confirms that Thailand is fast becoming a major EV production hub: and that’s driving a need for EV Batteries. Just over three years ago, Thai authorities approved US $888.2M in investments, including projects by Nissan Motor Thailand and Honda Automobile Thailand to produce Hybrid EVs. Now, after more than 3 years of steadily growing production, Honda is also considering building an EV Battery plant in Thailand: square in line with its aim to make EVs and Hybrid EVs 100% of its car sales by 2040.
The accelerating EV Battery demand in Thailand is a triple-shot espresso for any explorers who’re unearthing the rare metals that go into making them. Especially for Thailand-based Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM), who have the only lithium projects in Southeast Asia, and are a stone’s throw from Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor.
Thailand is on track to become the 4th largest EV and LIB manufacturing zone in all of Asia. And for anyone still only discussing Europe and China, that should be a major wake-up call…