Bangkok will get 1,000 more electric buses this year

The road to a greener Bangkok will be populated by as many as 1,000 more electric buses before the end of this year, as both the city and national governments pursue climate goals and promote the e-vehicle industry.

They will be the latest development in environmentally friendly transport in the Thai capital, along with the continually expanding network of commuter rail lines that are steadily linking outlying suburbs to the central city. With some legendary traffic jams in the past, emissions from cars and buses idling in traffic has contributed to high levels of air pollution.

Meanwhile, significant progress has been made over the last decade in unsnarling traffic and cleaning up the city’s air. Electric vehicles – including cars, motorcycles and buses – are beginning to gain favor among the public, who are breathing easier these days as a result.

The government is certainly on board. Electric vehicles and advanced automotive technologies and manufacturing are priority industries in the Kingdom’s economic transition. Those engaged in producing such vehicles, developing battery technologies or building charging networks are eligible for investment incentives.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government has also pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach net zero carbon goals in line with the Paris Climate Accords and COP 26. E-busses will support achieving those goals.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Transit Authority currently operates 2,885 buses serving 107 routes every day. With people using their cars less these days because of rising fuel prices, ridership on the city’s buses has increased to 707,000 passengers per day from 600,000 one year ago.

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