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Grab Tuk Tuk Electric launches in Chiang Mai, a Southeast Asia first

Jun 05. 2019
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By The Nation

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Grab has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with partners from both government and private sector organisations to establish the Chiang Mai Smart Mobility Alliance Network. This public-private partnership aims to reduce the use of private vehicles in Chiang Mai by 35 per cent in five years’ time, contributing to a less-polluted, less-congested Chiang Mai city.

The goal is to replace 450 LPG Tuk Tuks with electric Tuk Tuks within this year, according to a Wednesday press release.

As part of its partnership commitment to bring about cleaner, safer and more efficient mobility solutions for Thais, Grab has launched SEA’s first GrabTukTuk Electric to allow locals and tourists to easily book transport through the Grab app.

The new service will also create better income-earning opportunities for GrabTukTuk Electric driver-partners as they enjoy up to 80 per cent additional savings in fuel costs. A LPG Tuk Tuk driver incurs total monthly fuel expenses of Bt6,000, compared to the Bt1,400 monthly cost of charging an electric TukTuk.

Drivers can also benefit from higher user demand for TukTuk services due to the convenience of booking through a mobile phone.

The GrabTukTuk Electric service will complement the existing wide range of on-demand services that Grab has been offering to locals and tourists in Chiang Mai, including JustGrab, Grab RodDaeng and GrabFood.

With the electrification of TukTuks in Chiang Mai as its start, Grab aims to drive the adoption of more electric transportation options in Thailand and support the Thai government’s efforts to drive a smarter and more sustainable mobility future for all Thais. 

Grab will share insights on reduced carbon footprint resulting from the adoption of GrabTukTuk Electric service in Chiang Mai, and support the local government in their efforts to reduce the reliance on private vehicle ownership and drive the use of public transportation across the country. Based on statistics from the Energy Conservation Laboratory (EnConLab), KMUTT, one electric Tuk Tuk is estimated to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas by up to 4.18 tonnes per year. 

The network was hailed by the deputy governor of Chiang Mai,

Wirun Panthewee. “As one of Thailand’s pilot smart cities, Chiang Mai has initiated several projects aimed at transforming city management in all spheres in response to the Smart City vision,” said Wirun. “Over the past year, we have improved the infrastructure in the Nimmanhaemin area under the Smart Nimman project where the development of transportation has been our top priority, so as to increase the efficiency of public transportation, reduce air pollution, elevate the quality of life for the people and move towards Smart Mobility.

“The Chiang Mai Smart Mobility Alliance Network will thus be key to unlocking the full potential of both the public and private sectors to drive Chiang Mai forward and become one of the first smart cities in Thailand.” 

The country head for Grab Thailand, Tarin Thaniyavarn, said, “We are committed to invest in the smart mobility future of Thailand and bring about cleaner, safer and more efficient mobility solutions for Thais. In partnership with the Chiang Mai government and industry partners, we want to actively contribute towards Chiang Mai Smart Mobility Alliance Network’s goal of a less-polluted and less-congested Chiang Mai city.

“With today’s launch of GrabTukTuk Electric in Chiang Mai – a first in Southeast Asia, we are not only making it easier for locals and tourists to book this well-loved public transportation mode through one Grab app, but also driving the adoption of electric transportation options in Thailand,” he said.

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