MINE Smart Ferry: the next wave of electric vessels in Thailand’s waterways
The clean energy soon could transform Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, with electric catamarans as it helps to promote alternative-energy transportation and reduce the PM2.5 problem.
Energy Absolute is manufacturing 42 aluminium-alloy electric vessels, each of which can carry up to 250 people and travel 80 kilometres on a 20-minute charge. Their 800 kWh lithium-ion packs are designed by the company as part of an ambitious blueprint that includes a $3 billion battery factory and a line of electric cars, electric buses, and electric trucks.
The fleet of electric catamarans, “MINE Smart Ferries”, will provide travel services along the Chao Phraya River, with full deployment scheduled by 2020. Energy Absolute is investing 1 billion baht ($33 million) in the business and will install its own fast-charging stations’ dockside.
The chargers can recharge the 24-metre-long vessels in about 20 minutes. Each fill-up will last between two and four hours on the water, with a range of 80-100 kilometres. This water transportation will connect with public land transportation as well, with affordable fares to the public, spacious design, air-conditioned cabins, and convenient and safe hop-on/off.