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Govt slashes import tariffs for 'green' cars


June 4, 2008

Govt slashes import tariffs for 'green' cars

In an attempt to encourage more motorists to switch to using ethanol-based fuel, Thailand's cabinet on Tuesday gave a green light to exempt import tariffs on E85 car parts as well as lowering excise taxes for E85-powered cars.

The cabinet agreed to the finance ministry's proposal for a tariff waiver for E85 car parts for three years, from the date when the law takes effect.

Excise taxes for E85 vehicles will also be lowered to 25, 30 and 35 percent for cars with engine capacities not exceeding  2,000, 2,000 to 2,500, and 2,500 to 3,000 cc respectively. The planned excise tax reduction will be equal to excise taxes currently imposed on E20 vehicles.
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The excise tax on E85 fuel will be reduced to 2.5795 baht per litre from 3.6850 baht. E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

Pannee Sathavarodom, director-general of the Ministry of Finance's Fiscal Policy Office, said the Thai government was promoting greater use of alternative energy in Thailand as a substitute for imported crude.

Meanwhile, Energy Minister Poonpirom Liptapanlop said she would confer with European and Japanese E85 car manufacturers as well as with state-owned PTT Public Co Ltd and Bang Chak Petroleum Plc within this week on production of vehicles that run on the fuel and the supply of the fuel.

PTT and Bang Chak Petroleum have agreed to start selling E85 at 30 to 50 of their service stations within the next three to five months, Poonpirom said.

She said European car manufacturers are expected to establish plants producing E85 vehicles in Thailand in the next 12 to 18 months, which should be considered a positive sign as more motorists could change to using alternative energy.

It is projected that 60 percent of motorists in Thailand will switch to using E85 with consumption estimated at 4.4 billion litres annually. With more motorists expected to make the change to using E85 in the next three years, the country could save energy worth about 96.7 billion baht annually.

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