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China’s BYD Opens Its First EV Plant in Southeast Asia

BYD opened an electric vehicle factory in Rayong on Thailand’s eastern seaboard on Thursday, as China’s grip on the local car sector ramps up

A Thai family inspects a BYD Dolphin EV at a show room in Bangkok (Reuters).


China’s BYD opened its first electric vehicle factory in Thailand on Thursday, which is also the carmaker’s first in Southeast Asia.

“BYD is using Thailand as a production hub for export to ASEAN and many other countries,” Narit Therdsteerasukdi, Secretary General of Thailand’s Board of Investment said at the opening ceremony, referring to the 10-nation Southeast Asian bloc.

The facility, announced two years ago, is worth $490 million and will have a production capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year. The factory is located in an industrial estate in Rayong province, on Thailand’s eastern seaboard.


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Currently, Tesla is the world’s largest maker of electric vehicles, based on sales of 443,956 EVs in the second quarter of this year.

But BYD wasn’t far behind, selling 426,039 “pure” electric vehicles – priced from 100,000 yuan (about $13,750) to 200,000 yuan – over the same period.

If you add in plug-in hybrids BYD’s total sales were 982,747, which was a rise of 57% from the first quarter.

And the carmaker, based in Shenzhen, also launched a new version of its hybrid tech in May, which it says enables that car to do 2,100km on a single charge plus a full tank of petrol.


  • Reuters with additional input and editing by Jim Pollard



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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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