The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority tomorrow will launch a one-month test-run service for a new electric bus as part of its effort to gradually switch from diesel- and gas-powered vehicles.
Pranee Sugasorn, acting director of the BMTA, said Monday electric bus would take route No. 511 from Wat That Thong near the BTS Ekamai station to Pratunam from June 2-9. The service, in cooperation with Loxley Plc, will be free.
After that, the bus will follow two other routes: No. 141 from Chulalongkorn University to Poh Thong Market on Rama II Road, and No. 63 from Kae Rai to Victory Monument until June 29.
Mrs Pranee said a technician would be on board the bus to gather information for further analysis during the test runs.
The bus is 12 metres long with 29 seats and maximum speed of 72km/h. It carries battery packs with a total 324-kilowatt-hour capability per full charge, which takes five hours and yields a driving range of 250km.
Transport Minister Prajin Juntong said last month the BMTA was acquiring 3,183 new buses to replace its ageing fleet. While the first batch of 489 buses would still run on natural gas, the remaining 2,694 buses would go electric, ACM Prajin said.
While electric buses are three times more expensive than conventional coaches, they have lower operating costs and are cheaper to maintain in the long run, the minister said, citing the BMTA's latest study.