2/3 Wheelers

Can electric 2-wheelers help realise clean, energy efficient, low-carbon and affordable mobility in Thailand?

2014-11-14 14.31.0219 million gasoline motorcycles crisscross Thailand’s streets every day, bringing people to work, kids to school and goods to customers.
However, they also release about 10 million tonnes of CO2 each year (15% of total transport emissions) and contribute to air pollution. Electric two-wheelers can help improve the situation. They consume less energy and have substantially lower emissions per kilometre traveled. Looking at lifetime costs, some electric motorcycles are more expensive, but other models cost almost half as much as their gasoline counterparts. So, why are electric motorcycles still a rare sight? Users often mention the following disadvantages: limited range, limited speed, and long charging time. The structural barriers that need to be addressed include incomplete life cycle assessment, lack of financial mechanism or supporting policies, low consumer trust, leadership and technology challenges.  The public sector has initiated demonstration projects, and several private companies have mature designs ready for mass-marketing. By removing structural barriers, electric motorcycles – and their positive impacts – can become a daily reality in Thailand. This four-page publication “Can electricity replace Gasoline? Unlocking the potential of electric two-wheelers in Thailand” explores these and other issues, and provides recommendations to help speed up their arrival on the asphalt of Bangkok and other cities across the country, and also has relevance to other ASEAN countries.