The Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) are collaborating to establish a battery testing center for electric vehicles (EV) in Thailand’s Chachoengsao province.
The move follows a letter of intent signed by the two organizations on developing the modern vehicle industry during an official January visit to Thailand by Kichi Hagiuda, Japan’s minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. The initiative is expected to help fast-track carbon neutrality efforts by both nations.
According to the TAI, the center will operate according to international standards and offer testing services for automobiles and parts.
It will also operate under the TAI and TUV SUD Thailand Company Limited, with support from the Thai Industrial Standards Institute. TUV SUD is one of the world’s leading EV battery testers.
The establishment of the battery testing center will help Thailand become the manufacturing hub for EVs and EV parts in ASEAN.
Though Thailand is widely considered the automaking hub for Southeast Asia, it has lagged behind in adopting electric vehicles. Some attribute this to a lack of homegrown automakers, and the fact that many companies in the country produce components for foreign brands. Local start-up companies such as Energy Absolute push into electrics could test Thailand’s ability to overcome its reliance on foreign investments.
The center has received 300 million baht in initial investment. It will be developed on a 3,000 square meter area of land of the Automotive and Tyre Testing, Research and Innovation Center (ATTRIC) in Chachoengsao’s Sanam Chai Khet district.
The battery testing center is expected to be operational in March.