After announcing their plans to fully electrify Bangkok’s public transportation bus fleet and inspecting the first pure electric bus – the BYD K9 – assembled in Thailand, on February 26 Thailand’s Ministry of Transport, along with the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) held a ceremony to mark the beginning of the electric bus trial operation at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport. Upon their first inspection, in January 2016, transport authorities were deeply impressed with the BYD K9’s quality and technology, giving the zero-emission bus the thumbs up to start the three-month trial operation serving the A1 route between Don Mueang International Airport and Mo Chit Skytrain Station. The BYD K9 serving the Don Mueang International Airport is expected to operate as successfully as it has been operating in both American and European airports since it started operating as early as 2011. The Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr. Ormsin Chivapruck and the president of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), Ms. Pranee Sukrasorn, expressed their wish that Thai commuters can start enjoying such comfort and cutting-edge technology as soon as possible.
Additionally to the Deputy Minister of Transport and the President of BMTA, Managing Director of Don Mueang International Airport, Mr. Phet Chan-Charoen, and other Thai high-government officials attended the ceremony. In his speech, Mr. Chivapruck said this trial operation will test the performance of the BYD K9 and gather relevant data for Thailand’s public transport electrification plans. After expressing his best wishes for the trial operation, he said that the process of public transport electrification is of utmost importance and urgency for Thailand. After the trial operation, BMTA will start the process of replacing the current 3,183 conventional buses with a tender for 200 pure electric buses. The Department of Transport will work in tandem with the BMTA board to accelerate the purchasing process.
The A1 bus line trial operation, connecting Don Mueang International Airport to Mo Chit Skytrain Station, will provide convenient, comfortable and clean transportation for airport travelers. As one of the pillar industries in Thailand, tourism responds for a huge demand for transportation in the country, being Don Mueang International Airport one of the world’s oldest international airports. In 2015, its passenger traffic reached around 30.3 million passengers, a 40.7% increase as compared to the previous year, thus presenting an excellent opportunity for the BYD K9 to prove its potential.
This is not the first time BYD’s electric buses are deployed to run airport services: since 2011, BYD’s pure electric buses have been providing both shuttle and airside services chiefly to Los Angeles International Airport and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The Don Mueang Airport service is just the beginning of transport electrification in Thailand, with Bangkok now joining the other 190 cities in 43 countries worldwide to benefit from the economic and environmental benefits of BYD’s electrified public transportation solutions.