Toyota Call for Lower Excise Tax on Big Hybrids

Toyota is calling for a cut in excise tax on hybrid cars with engines capacities of 3,000cc or greater. Toyota say that this would boost sales.

Although it is possible that sales would increase, it's also possible that Thai consumers will continue to buy the biggest car they can afford. Even if the tax on large Hybrid cars were to be cut, they would still be much more expensive than Thai built SUVs such as the massively popular, and massive Toyota Fortuner, due to the fact that hybrid vehicles have higher production costs. Owners of these thirsty machines probably didn't ask too many questions about fuel economy in the Toyota sales office.

I have a suggestions to boost sales of hybrid cars: Ban all non-hybrid vehicles from driving or parking in the center of the Bangkok or offer free fuel for a year to all hybrid owners. The benefit to owning a hybrid vehicle would have to be immediately obvious. Even with a lower price tag, hybrid vehicles will probably sell in very small numbers in Thailand.

The full story in the Bangkok Post (see below) is interesting to read. In it, Mr Ninnart Chaithirapinyo of the Federation of Thai Industries points out oil will be depleted by 2050!


Cut in excise taxes urged to boost sales

ARANEE JAIIMSIN

Toyota has called for the reduction of excise taxes on hybrid cars with engines larger than 3,000cc to boost sales and support the government policy to cut down on the use of fossil fuels. Replacing gasoline engine cars with hybrid cars fuelled by a combination of electricity and oil, is an interim alternative for reducing gasoline consumption, before the commercialisation of hydrogen cars in the next 20 years, according to Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, vice-chairman of the Federaion of Thai Industries (FTI) and chairman of the FTI's automobile industry club.

Currently, hybrid cars are on average double the price of gasoline-run cars due to an 80% import tax assessed along with excise taxes, said Mr Ninnart, who is also the vice-chairman of Toyota Motor (Thailand) Co Ltd.

He said the government made a sound decision in July last year to cut the excise tax on hybrid cars with engines smaller than 3,000cc to 10% from 30% but the rate for those with engines larger than 3000cc remains high at 50%.

A survey conducted by Toyota found that consumers would be satisfied if a hybrid car cost 1.4 million baht _ back when gasoline was priced at 17 baht per litre compared with 27 baht now.

Amid current rising fuel costs, they would be willing to accept a slight increase in the cost of a hybrid car.

Toyota began offering hybrid cars commercially about six years ago and has so far sold 400,000 units. The company is projecting total sales of hybrid cars to reach one million units in the next one to two years.

''The Thai market could not support our projection because of the lack of any price incentives,'' Mr Ninnart said.

In the long term, he added, car companies were aiming to produce ''ultimate ecological cars'' in particular automobiles that run on hydrogen.

However, it remains uncertain where the supply of hydrogen will come from. Some engineers have proposed that water would be a suitable source because it contains hydrogen with oxygen by nature.

He noted that perhaps nuclear energy could be used to separate hydrogen from water.

Toyota has successfully built hydrogen cars. It has offered a hydrogen car prototype to the Japanese government but has not made any commercial production plans yet.

Mr Ninnart also pointed out that manufacturers must develop cars that run on other types of fuel than gasoline because the world's gasoline supply would be depleted by 2050.