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Thailand Earmarks $4.65 Billion for Electric and Hybrid Cars

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Board of Investment has approved four investment applications worth more than 161 billion baht ($4.65 billion) and a promotion scheme for electric cars, the state investment agency said on Friday.

Of the pledges, Thailand’s Gulf Group will invest in two electricity generating projects worth a combined 118 billion baht, the Board of Investment (BOI) said in a statement.

In addition, two units of PTT Pcl, Thailand’s largest energy firm, will invest a combined 43.5 billion baht in gas transportation systems, it said.

The agency also approved tax incentives to promote production of three types of electric cars in Thailand, Hirunya Suchinai, the head of BOI, told a new conference.

Applications for production of hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles must be made this year and those for battery electric vehicles by 2018, she said.

The scheme, aimed at attracting demand for environmentally friendly vehicles, will be submitted for cabinet approval next Tuesday, Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said.

Thailand is a regional manufacturing hub and export base for the world’s top carmakers. The auto industry accounts for about 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

By Pracha Hariraksapitak – REUTERS

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