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State-owned Thai Oil Company Wants to Promote EVs With Foxconn

MIH Open electric car platform by Foxconn 5 photos
Auttapol Rerkpiboon, PTT's CEO, and Young Liu, Chairman of FoxconnYoung Liu, Chairman of Foxconn, Beside the MIH Open platformFoxtron SUVFoxtron Bus
PTT used to be known as the Petroleum Authority of Thailand. Some decades ago, that meant it made a lot of money. However, with the urge to decarbonize personal transportation means, the company knows it has to diversify its business as soon as possible.

The state-owned company decided to do that with the help of Hon Hai (also known as Foxconn). Instead of selling petroleum products to cars, it wants to encourage companies to produce electric vehicles. PTT will then sell them electric energy.

If you skim Foxconn’s press release, you get the impression that PTT wants to produce electric cars based on the MIH Open platform developed by the Taiwanese giant. However, that is not what the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) states. The plan is to support the production of electric vehicles. And that leads to more questions than proper answers.

According to the companies, anyone in the automotive business in Thailand “will be able to access the entire value chain of services offered by a newly formed JV being set up as part of this project.” In other words, anyone can decide to build an electric vehicle, and the joint venture will assist them in delivering that through “an ecosystem combining state-of-the-art technologies across the EV value chain, including auto parts manufacturing.”

It is not clear how PTT will help with that. The press release mentions only “PTT’s development in EV and battery charging infrastructure” and the company’s “proven track record in (the) energy business, and its network of partners, subsidiaries and existing ventures.” Reading between the lines, we can see the main point of the MoU is that the Thai government will back up the adoption of electric vehicles.

Major automakers will probably not bother with the offer. However, smaller ones willing to make the transition – such as the only Thai car maker, Thai Rung – may find the PPT-Foxconn joint venture especially useful. Hopefully, Foxconn will keep us posted about the first Thai electric car built over the MIH Open platform.

press release

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