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Thailand: Swappable Battery Platform to Advance Sustainability 

Image credits: nstda.or.th

In an effort to address the rising popularity of motorcycles in Thailand, which significantly contributes to CO2 emissions, Prof Dr Anek Laothamatas, the Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI), has taken a significant step forward by overseeing the initiation of field testing for a groundbreaking swappable battery platform specifically designed for electric motorcycles in the country.

Prof Dr Anek Laothamatas is confident that the field-testing initiative represents a significant achievement for the project, enhancing the capabilities of Thailand’s next-generation automotive industry. It is a testament to Thailand’s thriving innovation ecosystem and the robust and consistent collaboration between the public and private sectors. In the future, he is optimistic that this testing will substantially drive the nation’s economic growth.

Furthermore, this testing ultimately supports the 30@30 Policy by providing an innovative solution tailored to the electric vehicle (EV) industry while also strengthening the capacity and development of human resources among manufacturers. The 30@30 targets zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to comprise at least 30% of total automotive production in Thailand by 2030.

Prof Dr Songsivilai, the Permanent Secretary of MHESI, underscored that this testing manifests NSTDA’s mission, which focuses on research, development, design, and engineering to drive social and economic growth at the national level. Through this initiative, NSTDA has showcased its capability to create impactful innovations that unlock the potential of the Thai industry.

The objective of this testing is to establish a standardised battery pack system for various motorcycle models and charging stations. It involves designing swappable battery packs and related equipment. Implementing a common standard will guide electric motorcycle manufacturers and charging station operators, enabling them to support a battery-swapping platform that offers significant benefits to users, such as overcoming the challenges of lengthy charging times and high ownership costs.

Another effort of Thailand’s government to achieve a sustainable city strategy is partnering with neighbouring countries. Recently, Thailand and Australia enforcing the plastic waste management policy, as it has become an urgent global problem.

“Countries around the world including Thailand are faced with challenges of plastic waste management,” explained Dr Julathep Kajornchaiyakul, Executive Director of the National Metal and Materials Technology Centre (MTEC).

Science and technology are crucial in finding creative solutions to address this issue effectively. The collaboration established between Thailand and Australia fosters scientific cooperation and involves various sectors of society to transform challenges into profitable opportunities and drive the implementation of sustainable initiatives. The initiatives include:

  • Developing innovative recycling technologies.
  • Promoting circular economy practices.
  • Establishing sustainable supply chains.
  • Creating green packaging solutions.

The partnership’s objective is to address plastic waste and pollution and drive economic growth and environmental sustainability in the region through technology. At that meeting, the Director of Southeast Asia, Ms Amelia Fyfield, said, “Only through a collective, united, and regional approach can we make real progress toward ending plastic waste.” This partnership serves as a platform for sharing knowledge and enhancing capabilities to implement innovative solutions.

NSTDA is committed to supporting this innovation and collaboration with partners in Thailand and abroad to achieve its goals. By fostering this activity and innovation, it will bring together local knowledge, private sector resources, and scientific expertise to create a sustainable city and country.

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