Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin accompanied Tesla executives on a tour of potential industrial locations in an apparent attempt to emphasize Thailand’s potential role as an electric vehicle manufacturing powerhouse in Southeast Asia.
Srettha, a political neophyte, became Prime Minister of Thailand in August and met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk a month later.
Srettha stated last month that Tesla executives would be visiting Thailand to investigate potential plant locations. He also mentioned that the electric vehicle manufacturer could invest $5 billion in Thailand.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that Tesla executives were seeking for a large plot of land in Thailand. “They want 2,000 rai (790 acres) of land.” Thailand, according to Srettha, would continue to push the production of classic combustible engine automobiles.
“We were known as Detroit of the East – Japan was the biggest investor, but they are behind in EV,” he went on to say. “EVs are not going to take over the world … so is it possible to move (Japanese autos) regional production to Thailand and I will give tax incentives.”
Thailand’s automotive industry is already one of the greatest in Southeast Asia, with Japanese behemoths such as Toyota, Isuzu, and Honda, but the Thai government is set on moving toward electric vehicles.
Thailand wants to convert around one-third of its annual vehicle output of 2.5 million vehicles to EVs by 2030 and is planning incentives to attract additional investment and conversion into EV manufacture.
Thailand is implementing efforts to make EVs more appealing to consumers. Government subsidies are presently available up to 150,000 baht (about $4,200) per vehicle. As a result of these initiatives, Thailand accounted for over half of Southeast Asia’s EV sales in the second quarter.
Thailand’s tax advantages and subsidies have already enticed Chinese automakers BYD and Great Wall Motors to invest $1.44 billion in new manufacturing facilities in the country.
Given Tesla’s position at the vanguard of the EV sector, a Gigafactory in Thailand may be a crown jewel of sorts for the country’s automotive sector.
Tesla Cybertruck Arrival
Tesla’s long-awaited Cybertruck has been launched and can now be found in showrooms across the United States, including the Miami Design District during Miami Art Week. Officially unveiled at a delivery event at the end of last month, deliveries of the Cybertruck began last week, and it is now available at Tesla dealerships.
The Cybertruck, which was first exhibited in 2019, has received global interest due to its unusual, angular appearance and cold-rolled stainless-steel surface. The electric automobile was supposed to go into production in 2022, but it has already been formally introduced after multiple delays.
It has a range of 320 miles, can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 2.6 seconds, and has a top speed of 130 miles per hour.
The automobile, which weighs 3,104 kilograms, has a towing capability of 4,990 kilos and can transport cargo of up to 2,500 kilograms.
Tesla has now unveiled the exact specifications of the car, as well as information on two other variants of the car that will be produced in 2024 and 2025.
Another all-wheel-drive model will have a slightly longer range of 340 miles but a lower top speed of 112 miles per hour and acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds.
A rear-wheel drive alternative will be available in 2025, with a range of 250 miles and a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 6.5 seconds.
The Cybertruck’s three variants will be wrapped in the car’s unique shell, which was supposed to be bulletproof. The car also boasts shatter-resistant amour glass in addition to stainless-steel panels. It also has an entirely glass roof.
A lightbar runs across the front of the car, while a rear lighter is located beneath the car’s boot.
Tesla also showcased many vehicle add-ons, such as a range extender that can be attached to give the car a range of 470 miles and a pop-up inflatable tent that fits into the car’s boot.