Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Charging up for the Thai market 

Jun 28. 2019
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By KINGSLEY WIJAYASINHA
THE NATION

LIKE IT OR NOT, EVs (electric Vehicles) are starting to make their presence felt in the Thai auto market, with a good number of brands offering practical electric cars and SUVs, while other automakers are speeding up development in order to catch a slice of the market as well.

 

 

Replacing conventional internal combustion engines are electric motors powered by large capacity, mostly lithium-ion, batteries. There is also a much smaller number of parts, and the package dramatically helps lower the vehicle weight, as well as the amount of energy needed to propel it.

But the main advantage of EVs is their emission-free nature as their battery-powered motors help move |pollution out of the city. While several charging networks are being set up by auto companies as well as by energy |companies like Energy Absolute (which plans to set up as many as 400 stations around the country by next year), it is also important to raise the overall level of renewable energy use in order to ensure the pollution is not just relocated to rural areas. While many EVs are based on regular models (such as the MG ZS EV that was launched earlier this month with a big bang), newer generations are being developed from square one (such as the Mercedes-Benz EQC to be officially introduced later this year). 

Smaller EV makers are also stepping into the market, such as FOMM, a Thai-Japan joint venture that offers a super-compact model priced at Bt664,000. 

Meanwhile, EVs have also been attractive for fleets. Expect mainstream EVs to have the same level of features as conventional auto models, and even more, as |manufacturers like to introduce their latest technologies through these futuristic vehicles. Apart from applications and navigation, many also come with auto pilot functions ranging from highway driving to full-scale. Tesla, the American EV producer led by Elon Musk, offers autonomous driving in its products. It has yet to start officially selling vehicles in Thailand, although Teslas are offered by several grey-market importers.

Among the important specifications for EVs are power and torque from the motor(s), as well as acceleration, |battery capacity, charging time and driving range. Driving range can vary significantly depending on how the vehicle is driven, with high speeds and quick acceleration draining the battery.

 

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