The Transport Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Soitip Traisut has suggested the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) consider using electric buses instead of buses running on natural gas (NGV) in the long term, and recommended conducting a trial run to determine the electric vehicle’s efficiency.
Ms. Soitip was quoting the Ministry’s feasibility study on the viability of using electric buses for public transportation. She said that despite the fact that BMTA is purchasing a new batch of 489 NGV buses, natural gas is not suitable for public transportation purposes over the long term, due to price and availability.
The Permanent Secretary noted that the feasibility study concluded that a new fleet of 2,964 buses should be electric vehicles, citing electricity costs being less than fuel or natural gas and more suitable for public transportation in the long run.
However, a trial run is recommended to make sure that the vehicle is cost-efficient, as the current price of an electric bus is rather high. Ms. Soitip suggested maintaining the existing buses until the fuel cells and other essentials for electricity buses become more affordable.
The Ministry of Transport will forward the study result to the BMTA board for further consideration.