Thailand’s first all-electric commuter ferry was recently placed into service by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA), powered by Torqeedo. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha celebrated the launch, giving his symbolic approval to the city’s efforts to ease congestion and improve air quality through investments in green transportation. The Prime Minister commuted by skytrain, subway and foot through Bangkok’s crowded streets, before ending his mixed-mode commute with a trip aboard the emission-free passenger ferry.
The 47.5-ft fiberglass vessel was repowered by MariArt Shipyard, replacing the existing 205hp diesel engine with twin Torqeedo Cruise 10 kW electric outboards, each with six Torqeedo lithium battery banks and two fast chargers. The 40-passenger vessel is part of a fleet of ferries operated by BMA’s Enterprise Krungthep Thanakom Company (KT BMA) and operates on a five-kilometer route daily between Hua Lampjong and Thewes Pier.
“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 KT BMA. “Based on the success of the first Torqeedo-powered electric ferry, we expect to repower more vessels in the fleet with battery-electric drives in the coming months.”
“Switching from diesel to electric power eliminates fuel costs, reduces air and water pollution and creates greater passenger satisfaction with a smooth quiet ride and no diesel fumes on deck,” said David Hunter, managing director of Torqeedo Asia Pacific Ltd. “Many thanks to the splendid engineering team at MariArt Shipyard, who carried out the repower project quickly, efficiently and professionally.”