Bangkok deploys a fleet of 27 electric passenger ferries

Energy Absolute is a major Thai electric utility that’s branching out into e-mobility. The company has developed a mid-market EV, and is planning a $3-billion battery factory. Now Energy Absolute has announced plans to deploy a fleet of 27 electric catamarans, which will operate as passenger ferries on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.

Bangkok claims to be the world’s most visited city—it welcomed some 23 million international visitors in 2019—but suffers from choking air pollution. Thailand’s government has implemented various subsidies and tax breaks to encourage the development of zero-emission modes of transport.

Each of the 24-meter-long catamarans will have a capacity of 200 passengers, and will be powered by two EM-PMI375-T800 motors manufactured by Danfoss Editron. Each of the liquid-cooled synchronous reluctance assisted permanent magnet motors provides continuous power output of between 174 and 192 kW.

Energy Absolute is investing $33 million in the project, which includes the installation of dockside DC fast chargers that will be capable of charging each ferry in approximately 15 minutes. The ferries will be able to operate for between two and four hours, or 80-100 km, on each charge.

Two of the ferries are currently undergoing testing, and the entire fleet is expected to be delivered to operators over the course of a year.

“Bangkok’s waterways have always played a vital role in transporting both people and logistics,” said David Hunter, Danfoss Editron’s Business Development Manager for Asia-Pacific. “This project can pave the way to bringing them back to life in a sustainable manner by linking key transport networks and providing a smooth and comfortable ride to commuters. It will also help to curb the need for further tunnels and roads, with the waterways becoming a more popular mode of transport once again. It is anticipated that introducing this fleet of fully-electric catamarans will remove approximately 9,500 tons of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere annually.”

Source: Danfoss Editron