U.S. magazine hails Bangkok’s electric ferry service

Florida-based Maritime Executive, the world’s most widely read maritime publication, praised Bangkok for its new fleet of electric ferries, calling the service groundbreaking for its emissions-free travel.

“Thailand’s groundbreaking electric ferry fleet enters service,” the publication proclaimed. “There had been a prototype vessel operating in Bangkok for the last two years, serving the city’s commuters. Seven new, fully electric vessels will now join the fleet.”

Adopting the electric ferries is part of the city government’s goal of turning Bangkok into a green city by 2030. The plans for a greener capital include building more mass transit lines, public parks and green spaces, and caring for and planting more big trees.

Bangkok was once known as “the Venice of the East” because of its networks of canals and the Chao Phraya River that bisects the metropolis. A-century-and-a-half ago and earlier, waterways were the city’s main thoroughfares and transport routes.

Although there are more roads than canals today, countless commuters still navigate their way around the city by ferries on the Chao Phraya and smaller passenger boats along the canals.

Many of the boats use diesel engines that belch black smoke, contributing to air pollution. And so, a few years ago, the City Government began investigating alternatives and began piloting electric ferries.

There are just seven of the 30-passenger, zero-emission water taxis in the city’s fleet, but that number will rise. The Mariart Shipyard in Thailand is converting 48 ferries into electric versions.

“This is an important achievement for the city of Bangkok and a key part of our Thailand 4.0 Smart City vision for an integrated clean, green public transportation system including bus, rail, and waterways,” said a city official.

Photo courtesy of https://www.md.go.th/md/index.php/component/k2/item/768?rss_id=17790