December 13, 2022
BANGKOK – Thailand’s trucking industry will decide whether to switch its fleet of 400,000 diesel trucks to electric vehicles in April next year after EV tests, according to the Land Transport Association of Thailand.
Association president Apichart Prairungruang said the plan to switch from diesel to electric trucks came after the government released support measures for EVs.
He said that the association would test the EV trucks for safety to address concerns over possible battery explosions. It would also compare the capacity of electric and diesel trucks since the new EVs will be used for long-distance trips of 300-500 kilometres, he said.
The tests will focus on maintenance, after-sales service and whether routes have enough charging stations to keep the EV trucks on the road. It should take no longer than one hour and 30 minutes to fully charge an EV truck, Apichart added.
However, he is concerned about EV trucks’ shorter battery life of around six years compared with 7-10 years for diesel vehicles.
He said batteries also made electric trucks more expensive, at around 5-6 million baht per unit versus only 2.8 million for a diesel truck. He noted, though, that electric trucks cost less to run in the long term.
Apichart said the association would decide whether to switch to EV trucks after tests that are due to finish in April.
The association, which covers firms that operate around 400,000 trucks, is interested in EVs as a way of saving transport costs and protecting the environment, he said.