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Longtail boats go electric at Thailand’s famous floating market

Mar 06. 2021
Marine Department officers test ride an electric longtail boat
Marine Department officers test ride an electric longtail boat
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By The Nation

A high-tech innovation is restoring traditional tranquillity to popular tourist destination Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. The ear-splitting noise of diesel engines is being replaced by the gentle hum of electric longtail boats, ferrying passengers through the market in Ratchaburi province.

The idea for longtail EVs was hatched in December 2019 after people complained of the noise and pollution created by car engines that propel traditional longtail boats.

Thai e-vehicle manufacturer Sakun C Innovation Co was invited to find a way of making the traditional boats less noisy and more eco-friendly.

On Friday, Marine Department chief Witthaya Yamuang inspected the results – three prototype EV longtail boats.

Two of the prototypes have wooden hulls while the third is aluminium. The boats will run for 10 kilometres and take four hours to charge at home. Their maximum speed is about 20 kilometres per hour.

Witthaya said the department aims to produce another 8-10 electric longtail boats to support community tourism.

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