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Thailand goes electric

Torqeedo is powering Thailand's first electric passenger ferry fleet. Seven new vessels have just joined the first test boat, which has been successfully transporting Bangkok residents since 2018.

The 30-passenger, zero-emission 47.5-ft fibreglass water taxis were repowered by MariArt Shipyard, replacing 205hp diesel engines with twin Torqeedo Cruise 10 kW electric outboards, twelve Power 24-3500 lithium batteries and four fast chargers. The 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," said Dr Ekarin Vasanasong, deputy managing director of ferry operator KT BMA. The high-tech vessels depart every 15 minutes, are fully accessible for wheelchair users and offer bicycle storage.

"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," said 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."

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