Torqeedo powers Thailand’s first electric passenger ferry fleet
Thailand’s first emission-free commuter fleet, placed into service on 26 November 2020 by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA), is equipped with Torqeedo electric outboards.
Seven new vessels joined the first test boat, which has been successfully transporting Bangkok residents since 2018.
The 47.5-ft fibreglass vessels were refitted by MariArt Shipyard, replacing the 205hp diesel engines with twin Torqeedo Cruise 10 kW electric outboards, twelve Power 24-3500 lithium batteries and four fast chargers. The 30-passenger, zero-emission water taxis are part of a fleet of ferries operated by BMA’s Enterprise Krungthep Thanakom Company (KT BMA). Departing every 15 minutes, the high-tech vessels operate on a five-kilometre route daily, providing a critical transport link between the express ferry on the Chao Praya river, the Saen Saep canal boats and the MRT subway station at Hua Lampjong.
“This is an important achievement for the city of Bangkok and a key part of our Thailand 4.0 Smart City vision for an integrated clean, green public transportation system including bus, rail and waterways,” Dr Ekarin Vasanasong, deputy managing director of KT BMA, said on the occasion of the first ferry’s launch.
Improving transportation and air quality are enormous challenges for the BMA, with the transport sector contributing a quarter of Bangkok’s carbon emissions – higher than the global average..
“Adding electric ferries to the intermodal public transport plan accomplishes the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority’s goals in two ways: moving passengers from roads to the waterways reduces congestion and, since the boats are 100% emission-free, they don’t contribute to harmful local air pollution,” says Dr Michael Rummel, Torqeedo’s managing director. “Electric passenger vessels are also quiet, vibration-free, and an enjoyable way to travel through this beautiful city.”