On 24 May 2023, Prof. Dr. Anek Laothamatas, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) presided over an event launching field testing of swappable battery platform for electric motorcycles at Thailand Science Park, Pathum Thani. He was joined by MHESI Permanent Secretary Prof. Dr. Sirirurg Songsivilai; PMUC Representative Prof. Dr. Nisai Fuengwarodsakul, NSTDA Executive Vice President Dr. Chularat Tanprasert, ENTEC Executive Director Dr. Sumittra Charojrochkul and Project Leader Dr. Pimpa Limthongkul.

MHESI Minister Prof. Dr. Anek Laothamatas remarked that this field-testing launch marks a significant milestone for the project that will enhance capability of Thai next generation automotive industry. The event is also a testament of Thailand’s vibrant innovation ecosystem and a strong public-private partnership, resulting in a major output that will drive the nation’s economic growth. Motorcycles are the most common vehicle found in Thailand and its popularity continues to grow, contributing to more CO2 emissions to the environment. To transition to a low carbon society, the 30@30 Policy was introduced, setting a target for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to account for at least 30% of total automotive production in Thailand by 2030. This project will clearly underpin the 30@30 Policy by providing an innovative solution catered to the EV industry and at the same time strengthening the capacity and human resource development of manufacturers.

MHESI Permanent Secretary Prof. Dr. Sirirurg Songsivilai said that this project is a clear reflection of NSTDA’s mission that focuses on research, development, design and engineering to drive the national social and economic development. Through this project, NSTDA has demonstrated its capability to develop high impact innovations to unlock the potential of Thai industry. This project answers to the government’s policy to boost the production and acceptance of electric vehicles with funding provided by the Project Management Unit for Competitiveness (PMUC) and industry partners in the consortium. The research consortium is made up of nine academic/research institutes and enterprises, namely Beta Energy Solution Company Limited, GP Motor (Thailand) Company Limited, Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), I-Motor Manufacturing Company Limited, GridWhiz (Thailand) Company Limited, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Khon Kaen University and ENTEC-NSTDA.

“Next generation automotive industry's capability enhancement in Thailand through the development of swappable battery platform for electric motorcycles” is a project that aims to push for a common standard for battery pack across various lines of motorcycles and charging stations, and design swappable battery pack and relating equipment. The common standard will help guide electric motorcycle manufacturers and charging station operators to run their production and service to support a battery swapping platform that will bring great benefits to users, including reducing the hurdle of long charging time and high cost of ownership. A swappable better pack prototype for two different models and brands of electric motorcycles has been developed, along with three prototypes for charging station compatible with swappable battery pack. The three charging station prototypes are located at Thailand Science Park, Bangchak gas station in Ekamai-Ramintra, and EGAT Learning Center at EGAT Headquarters. Test runs will be performed on all prototypes to obtain data for platform development.