FTI highlights switch to battery-powered motorcycles

FTI highlights switch to battery-powered motorcycles

Motorcycle taxi drivers try out electric motorcycles launched by Egat in 2021. Motorcycles in the BEV category are becoming more popular.
Motorcycle taxi drivers try out electric motorcycles launched by Egat in 2021. Motorcycles in the BEV category are becoming more popular.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) expects hybrid electric motorcycles to become less popular among Thai riders after the number of newly registered bikes in this category fell by 80% year-on-year the first seven months this year.

Often called HEVs, hybrid electric vehicles refer to cars and motorcycles powered by both oil and electricity.

During the first seven months, the new registration of motorcycles in this category decreased to 242 units, down from 1,213 units in the same period last year, said the FTI, citing statistics from the Department of Land Transport.

"We expect the falling trend to continue every month as buyers appear to be more interested in BEVs," said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman and spokesman for the FTI's automotive club.

He was referring to battery electric vehicles, which completely run on batteries.

Newly registered motorcycles in the BEV category soared by 149% year-on-year to 4,963 from January to July. The number of new registrants skyrocketed by 288% year-on-year to 857, up from 221, in July alone.

Mr Surapong said he believes battery-powered motorcycles are becoming a more attractive choice because riders with a limited budget can rent them and "battery swapping" services are more available.

The service reduces riders' concerns over the insufficient number of charging stations, as riders running on a low battery can simply replace it with a fully charged battery in a few minutes.

Energy firm Bangchak Corporation and state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) are pushing ahead with electric motorcycle projects and a battery swapping service.

Chaiwat Kovavisarach, president and group chief executive of Bangchak, said earlier he expects to have up to 2,000 motorcycles use the service.

Egat also launched a similar project late last year among motorcycle taxi drivers. Three battery swapping stations were set up by Egat to facilitate riders.

Last year, Thailand pledged during the UN conference on climate change it would aim to achieve carbon neutrality, a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption, by 2050 and a net-zero balance between greenhouse gas emissions and absorption by 2065.

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