Thailand Seeks To Combat Pollution And Noise With Electric Motorcycle Taxis
Dec 27, 2021

Thailand is getting one step further in the deployment of electricity-powered motorcycle taxis and canal boats for public transportation with an aim to reduce air pollution and noise levels in large cities.

In a latest move, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) on December 27 started the trial run of electric motorcycle taxis at its headquarters in Nonthaburi province just northwest of Bangkok, Bangkok Post wrote.

The test covered 51 electric motorcycle taxis at nine stands near the headquarters of the state enterprise.

EGAT governor Boonyanit Wongrukmit said the test would continue for a year in association with King Mongkut Institute of Technology North Bangkok.

Studying the behaviour of drivers and passengers

During the period, officials would study the behaviours of drivers and passengers, energy consumption and economic, social and environmental impacts before deciding if electric taxi motorcycles should be introduced nationwide, the governor said.

Each of the motorbikes has a three-kilowatt battery and could run for 100 kilometers per charge. It has a maximum speed at 80 km/h and can carry load of about 150 kilogrammes.

The electric motorcycle project costs 21 million baht ($626,575), including the expenses for motorcycles and batteries, at 84,000 baht ($2,506) and 40,000 baht ($1,194) each, respectively, Wongrukmit said.

Electric boats are already operating on Bangkok’s waterways

Apart from the e-motorcycles, EGAT has already acquired and deployed electric boats to ride on canals in Bangkok which run on electric power from lithium-ion batteries, with a speed of not less than 10 knots (18.5 km/h) and a distance of 60 kilometers in a single charge.

The air conditioner system in the passenger cabin has been designed to use electric power from solar cells installed on the roofs. Each boat can carry 80 passengers in total. About a dozen electric boats have so far been deployed as commuter ferries and shuttle services on Bangkok’s various waterways.