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Thai tuk-tuks, soon to be electric?


The motorized tricycle, very popular in the country, could take a 100% electric turn. The initiative is encouraged by the Thai state.

It's one of the rites of passage for anyone who wants to travel to Thailand, or simply get around quickly and cheaply.

The tuk-tuk, this motorized tricycle so emblematic of Thai streets, could undergo its transformation.

Because the means of transport, very greedy in gasoline, constitutes a real source of pollution in the cities.

However, as The Guardian


, these taxi fleets are gradually being replaced by greener, more ecological and energy-efficient models.

“The benefits are pretty clear in terms of the environment

,” says Krisada Kritayakirana, CEO of start-up MuvMi and co-founder of its parent company, Urban Mobility Tech.

“When using traditional tuk-tuks you can smell gas and it can be unpleasant at times.

With electric tuk-tuks you have virtually no noise and you have zero emissions from the tailpipes.”

The entrepreneur announces that he wants to "

triple the number of his electric tuk-tuks this year, from 350 to 1,000, due to the growing demand for trips in electric vehicles

", reports the Thai media

The Nation


In the next five years, the company even plans to deploy 5,000. A small revolution for a country whose air is particularly polluted.

Read alsoTravel conditions in Thailand: what you need to know to get there

Pollution, a public health issue

In 2021, levels of PM2.5 - airborne particles smaller than 2.5 µm in size - were four times higher than World Health Organization recommendations.

With visible consequences on people: inhaling these fine particles can cause respiratory and heart problems.

Pollution in Thailand has even become a major public health problem.

Scientists believe that it is partly responsible for the increase in the number of strokes, respiratory diseases and cancers, especially among young people.


Our first objective is to provide ecological vehicles to city dwellers who struggle to find public transport once they have left the aerial and underground metro, and the bus

", promotes Krisada Kritayakirana.

The initiative is also encouraged by the Thai government, which has been encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles since 2015.

“This year, we have earmarked 100 million baht [€3 million] for financing electric vehicles and related technologies,”

said Vichian Suksoir, deputy executive director of the innovation department at the Agency. National Institute of Innovation (NIA).

In addition, many hotels now buy electric tuk-tuks to transport their customers.

Read alsoTo travel to Thailand, you will have to pay a new tax in June

A tiny difference

But will it make a difference to air quality?

Very little, according to Dr. Surat Bualert, assistant professor specializing in environmental sciences at the University of Kasetsart (Bangkok), whose remarks were taken up in

The Guardian


“I think [electric] cars can improve air quality because research and chemical analysis show that the main source of PM2.5 is transportation.

Tuk-tuks cannot because the ratio of tuk-tuks is low compared to other vehicles”

, observes the scientist.

Above all, electric tuk-tuks regularly need to be recharged and therefore cannot cover long distances.

There is also one last pitfall: the price.

For a traditional tuk-tuk, count around 150,000 baht (around 4,200 euros) like the first models, against 400,000 baht (around 11,100 euros) for its electric equivalent.

That's almost triple.

Not enough to discourage Krisada Kritayakirana who sees these new generation tuk-tuks as a solution for the future.

At a time when gasoline prices continue to soar and when ecology has entered the public debate.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-02

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