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Thai energy giant PTT signs agreement with Chinese EV startup Hozon

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s largest energy firm PTT Pcl and China’s electric vehicle (EV) startup Hozon have signed an agreement to expand Thailand’s EV market, the companies said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of PTT is pictured at the 38th Bangkok International Motor Show in Bangkok, Thailand March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

The partnership includes distributing Hozon’s vehicles and exploring opportunities for production with PTT and Foxconn’s facility in the country.

“The agreement will show Thailand’s EV production capacity and ability to grow the regional market,” senior energy official Twarath Sutabutr, who presided over the signing, told Reuters.

The Thai government holds a 51.1% stake in PTT.

The agreement follows PTT’s establishment in September of a joint venture with Taiwan’s Foxconn for an EV production facility.

Thailand is Asia’s fourth-largest autos assembly and export hub and a production base for top carmakers, such as Toyota and China’s Great Wall Motor.

The government has set a target that 30% of domestic auto production be electric vehicles by 2030.

Shifting to EV is part of PTT’s new vision of growing new business and increasing renewable power use.

PTT previously said it plans to invest $1 billion to $2 billion over six years in EV production, with initial manufacturing target of 50,000 vehicles per year.

“There could also be new opportunities such as business-to-business deals, like if ride-hailing companies want to use new EVs,” Twarath said.

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty

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