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Episode 21: Biodiesel and EV trends in Thailand

Dr. Nuwong Chollacoop at F+L Week 2022 in Bangkok Thailand

In this episode, Dr. Nuwong Chollacoop, Renewable Energy Research Team Leader at the National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC) in Thailand, shares the latest biodiesel and electric vehicle (EV) trends in Thailand. Thailand currently mandates all petroleum diesel being sold in Thailand to be blended with 7% biodiesel. 

Thailand is the world’s third largest producer of palm oil, but a distant third from Indonesia and Malaysia. Majority of its palm oil is produced by small-scale farmers, unlike in Indonesia and Malaysia. To protect its local industry, it restricts palm oil imports, a good thing for Thailand, as Indonesia has recently announced that it will ban exports of both crude palm oil and its refined products, sending palm oil futures prices on the Malaysian exchange surging nearly 10% after the announcement at the end of April. The export ban will be reviewed monthly, according to a Reuters report.

In 2024, Thailand will mandate Euro V emission standards, “we have to make sure we can co-exist between helping air pollution emission not increasing too much and at the same time, we satisfy domestic demand for palm oil.” In Thailand, 50% of palm oil production is used by the transport sector.

Dr. Nuwong also discussed electric vehicle trends in Thailand. He believes that EV is good in the personal car sector, but for truck and long-range transportation, diesel will continue to play a role. Fuel cell can be a solution to replace diesel, he suggests.