The Marine Department called the first test run of an electric boat for the Saen Saeb Canal a success, saying it will improve passenger service and is more environmentally friendly.
Director-General Wittaya Yamuang said Tuesday the test run lasted about 20 minutes with the craft moving at 22 kilometers an hour for four kilometers from Phan Fah Lilat Pier to Pratunam Pier without noise pollution.
The department selected Kasetsart University to study and build the 100-seat commuter boat that uses an electric-powered engine to reduce pollution. The aluminum boat can travel 60 kilometers on a single charge .
More tests will be conducted in line with the department’s safety standards. It’s not the only electric-boat service planned, however.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration on March 30 approved the purchase of electric boats to serve commuters along Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem in Bangkok’s Old Town.
The service will be operated by the BMA’s investment arm, Krungthep Thanakhom, which is getting 117 million baht to run the service and buy seven 30-seat electric vessels that will run alongside existing, diesel-powered boats that eventually will be mothballed.
That service is expected to launch in November under KT for 660 days after which the operation will be put out for bid.