Riders pilot electric motorcycle trials in Bangkok

Motorcycle taxi drivers aim to pave the way towards a greener Bangkok by piloting battery-powered models of their bikes on behalf of the state electricity agency.

Anyone who has ever visited Bangkok cannot help but notice, and possibly rely on, the packs of motorcycle taxi drivers wearing numbered orange vests who make it possible to get around town in a hurry by weaving through stalled traffic.

Over 100,000 registered motorcycle taxis in the capital provide crucial services to people living in the metropolis. “Motorcycle taxi services are essential parts of Bangkok’s intermodal system since they provide affordable and rapid access to public transport,” pointed out by a study published on the Science Direct website.

Now, some motorcycle taxi drivers start to take part in the electric bike pilot project that is part of government efforts to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Each motorcycle under the project has been equipped with a replaceable 3-kilowatt battery.

These pilot drivers are those currently work in the area near the headquarters of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).

The Authority said that it plans to reach 600 motorcycles this year. A larger commitment, however, will rely on the results of the pilot project.

Information on energy consumption, environmental and socio-economic impacts, along with opinions from the motorcycle taxi drivers and their passengers will be monitored and evaluated before the project is upgraded to a commercial scale.

The battery-powered motorcycles are designed to run for about 60 miles per battery charge at a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour. Three battery swapping stations have been set up so drivers can simply replace their used battery with a fully charged one and get back to business.

Photo courtesy of: https://www.egat.co.th/