Mass Transit Authority considers renting electric buses from China

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BANGKOK- The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority of Thailand (BMTA) will propose to the Cabinet that electric buses be leased from China instead of bought, given that the price is roughly the same. 

Deputy Transport Minister Omsin Cheevapruek said that electric buses are ideal because they are more accessible to persons with disabilities.

Deputy Transport Minister Omsin Cheevapruek.

They can travel 250 kilometers on a single charge and can reach a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour. Mr. Omsin had the opportunity to travel on the first electric bus during its trial run.

The Deputy Transport Minister is considering whether it would be cost effective to lease these buses instead of having them made. Thailand had earlier rented one from China at the cost of 15 million baht. However, the cost of importing electric car parts, including tax, will total 16 million baht.

BMTA Acting Director Pranee Sukrasorn said she preferred renting buses due to price-related factors. The electric buses can begin service next year, if the Cabinet approves the BMTA’s proposal within a few months.

As for the purchase of 489 NGV buses, the Ministry of Transport will start an auction for the government procurement contract next month. If everything goes according to plan, the natural gas buses are expected to begin service before the end of August.

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