(Bloomberg) -- Thailand will offer new incentives to promote the local production of battery cells and the adoption of new-energy buses and trucks as it seeks to cement its position as a hub for EV manufacturing. 

The government will give cash grants to companies looking to set up local plants to produce battery cells in the country, Narit Therdsteerasukdi, secretary of the National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee, told reporters Wednesday. 

The financial incentives will be given on a case-by-case basis and will help subsidize the costs of plant constructions by 30-50%, he said. The panel also approved incentives to encourage companies to transition their commercial fleets of large trucks and buses to be battery powered ones, he said.

Thailand has aggressively rolled out incentives and attracted a flurry of foreign investments in recent years, particularly from Chinese EV makers. The country, often referred to as “the Detroit of Asia,” is targeting 30% of its car output to be electric by 2030.

Demand for EVs is booming in Thailand after the government cut import and excise taxes and gave cash subsidies to buyers in exchange for automakers’ commitment to start local production — all part of a renewed push to uphold its long-time standing as a regional auto hub.

The new measures will require cabinet approval before they take effect, Narit said.

Other highlights of the new incentives:

  • Battery cell makers must meet a set of criteria to qualify for investment promotion plans
  • The batteries must have a high energy density of not less than 150 Wh/kg and have a life cycle of not less than 1,000 charges
  • Companies need to submit investment proposals by the end of 2027
  • Approves a special income tax deduction scheme for companies buying either imported or locally-made electric buses and trucks through to end-2025
  • The plan is expected to put 6,000 electric buses and 4,000 electric trucks on Thai roads, up from a combined 1,000 currently

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