Thai state owned energy company has announced plans to establish a comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) ‘ecosystem’ to support the government’s plan to transform Thailand into a low carbon economy.

The locally-listed company’s CEO, Auttapol Rerkpiboon, said the plan involved the establishment of an EV and battery manufacturing industry, the continued roll out of a nationwide charging network and expanding its EV rental business.

Auttapol added the company had redefined its new businesses strategy with a new focus on investing in alternative, clean energies during the country’s transition from internal combustion engine (ICE) to battery-powered vehicles.

Its Arun Plus subsidiary had formed a local joint venture with Taiwan’s Hon Hai Technology Group, called Horizon Plus, to establish an EV manufacturing business and supply chain called ‘EV Value Chain’.

The joint venture plans to begin construction of a new plant in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor in the fourth quarter of 2022 to initially produce battery powered buses based on Hon Hai’s MIH Open platform, with other vehicle types expected to be added at later.

Meanwhile, the group’s PTT Oil and Retail Business (PTTOR) unit expected to have up to 450 charging stations in place across its nationwide network of petrol stations by the end of the year.

The company’s car rental operation has a fleet of 200 EVs, including the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, MG EP and Nissan Leaf, which, the company said, had a 90% utilisation rate. PTT said the rental business also helped to promote consumer familiarity and market acceptance of EVs and planned to add 500 more EVs to the fleet in the next year.

The group’s Global Power Synergy had set a goal of generating 8,000 megawatts of electricity from alternative sources such as wind and solar energy by 2030.