Bangkok to become the electric transport capital of Asia

Electric ferries, riverboats, buses and tuk-tuks are part of the growing eco-friendly transportation network available to international visitors.

Bangkok, Thailand – With electric ferries now plying the Chao Phraya River, a working electric monorail, and electric tuk-tuks accessible by app, Bangkok is on track to provide commuters with a popular and environmentally friendly interconnected urban transport system.

In its 20-year plan to expand the nationwide public transport system, the Thai government is promoting the use of electric vehicles to help reduce air pollution in metropolitan areas and reduce emissions from carbon everywhere. He wants 30% of the transport system to be electrified by 2035.

In Bangkok, efforts to achieve seamless urban transport connectivity include linking electric trains, buses and boats. Already, passengers can switch between the MRT and BTS Skytrain metro networks and electric river ferries thanks to the proximity of some stations and piers.

Launched at the end of 2020, a fleet of MINE Smart Ferries operates a 23-kilometer route on the river between Rama V Bridge and Sathon Piers, Monday to Friday all day with stops at Rama VII Bridge, Kiak Kai, Thewet, Prannok, Pak Khlong Talat, Ratchawong, Ministry of the Navy, and the CAT tower en route.

As Thailand gradually continues to reopen its tourism sector, there are plans to introduce a weekend service for tourists wishing to navigate the Chao Phraya River which will stretch from Tha Chang Pier to CAT Tower with stops at Wat Arun, Wat Kalayanamit and the Navy. Department.

Manufactured and operated by Thailand-based Energy Absolute (EA), the electric ferries are powered by Li-Ion batteries and can travel 80 to 100 km on a single charge. With a maximum load of 250 passengers, their cabins are air conditioned and have their own disinfection system.

EA has estimated that its electric ferry service, which has an initial fleet of six vessels and plans to increase it to 28 this year, will save the country 4.73 million liters of diesel fuel per year and reduce greenhouse gases by nearly 13,000 tonnes per year.

Around the same time as the launch of the private sector MINE Smart Ferries, city officials replaced gasoline-powered passenger boats on Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem with electrically powered vessels. Carrying up to 30 passengers, these run from early morning until early evening on weekdays and on weekends on a route between Thewet and Hua Lamphong jetties. There are also plans to operate electrically powered vessels on Khlong Saen Saep, another major waterway in the future.

The same is true in the planning of many other electric ferry services, to the point that it is now said that Bangkok could become the electric ferry capital of Asia.

Out of the water and on the road, electric tuk tuk It might not be new in Thai, but there is a new app that puts a fleet of it within reach of downtown travelers. Downloadable for iOS or Android, MuvMi is an eco-friendly ridesharing service that uses a large fleet of these iconic three-wheelers – minus the diesel fumes and rowdy noise of motorized tuk-tuks.

Using the app, a passenger can book their planned trip using designated pickup and drop-off points. There is no set pricing structure, instead MuvMi calculates this based on certain conditions. The driver may accept other fares along the way if the tuk-tuk is not fully occupied, while for a higher fare other passengers may not be picked up.

The MuvMi service – which operates alongside a hop-on hop-off service in the Old Quarter called Tuk Tuk Hop – operates along the middle area of ​​Sukhumvit Road, as well as around Samyan-Siam, Ari-Intramara, Phahonyothin Road -Lat Phrao, Rattanakosin Island and Kasetsart-Sena Nikhom. There are many pick-up and drop-off points near the MRT metro and BTS Skytrain stations. This figure should be tripled in 2021 with the addition of 2,000 additional points.

MuvMi estimates that its current fleet of over 100 electric tuk-tuks will use 336,000 liters of fuel less and produce 560 cubic tonnes of carbon emissions this year.

In September 2020, a consortium of academic institutes and public and private companies also presented the progress of Bangkok’s nationally-made electric bus project to the Prime Minister of Thailand and members of the Cabinet.

This was followed by the launch of the country’s first unmanned monorail system in Bangkok in December 2020. The Gold Line monorail connects three stations on the Thon Buri side, namely Krung Thonburi, Charoen Nakhon and Khlong San stations.

Meanwhile, the new large Bang Sue Station is slated to open in July, a public transport “mega-station” connecting the city’s commuter train lines and Airport Rail Link and connecting to the city’s bus terminal. Mo Chit. Welcoming and maintaining electric and diesel trains, the Grand Station will replace Bangkok’s existing railway station (Hua Lamphong), which will become a museum in November after more than a century of service in the country.

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