Thai city launches electric tuk-tuks to reduce CO2 emissions

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The first electric tuk-tuk in Thailand’s northeastern region was launched on Tuesday in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the country.

The modernised tuk-tuk, a cross between a tricycle and a rickshaw, was unveiled to reporters in a press event in Khon Kaen on September 28.

Local government officials inspected the orange and black electric vehicle which they said can be used to transport passengers or cargo.

Industrial Promotion Center Region 5 director Worawit Jiratiticharoen said the tuk-tuk costs about 320,000 baht, contains a 72-volt electrical system that charges for around seven to eight hours, and can drive at a maximum speed of 60 to 65 kilometres per hour.

He said: ‘It is a tuk-tuk that, in addition to being used to transport passengers, can also be a small, non-polluting vehicle suitable for use in urban areas or business districts.’

Also displayed at the launch were several other tuk-tuks and modified vehicles, including the ‘Nong Atom,’ a prototype electric tricycle designed to cater to older adults and people with disabilities.

Khon Kaen deputy governor Woratat Thuleechan said: ‘Khon Kaen has continued to promote the electric vehicle industry. We aim to follow the roadmap to becoming the centre of electric vehicles in northeast Thailand.’

He added that a committee that will focus on electric vehicle development was established in the province in line with government policy to reduce air pollution and eventually phase out non-electric vehicles.

The launch was also seen as a step towards the integration of smart technology in transportation, authorities said.

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