Research and development project for standardized battery-swapping platform for electric motorcycles to elevate the automotive industry in Thailand, or Battery Swapping Platform – BATT SWAP. On April 24, 2023, Dr. Anek Laothamatas, distinct professor and Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI), presided over the opening of “Field testing of Battery-packing Platform for Standardized Interchangeable Batteries for Electric Motorcycles to Elevate the Modern Automotive Industry in Thailand.” The event took place in room SD601 on the 6th floor of the Saranwittaya Building (Building 12) and the Battery Swap Station at the Science Park Thailand, Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani.
Dr. Anek mentioned that the research and development project for the battery pack platform represents a significant collaboration among various sectors, which is essential in promoting and supporting the success of the modern automotive industry in Thailand. With a high number of motorcycle usage in Thailand, there having been an issue of air pollution. electric motorcycles have the potential to address this problem. The development of standardized interchangeable battery packs that can be used in various electric motorcycle brands is a significant step towards becoming a knowledge-based economy. MHESI, as a government agency, aims to promote and elevate this industry to a global level and contribute to the development of the Thai economy based on science, technology, and creative economy. The focus is on developing technology locally rather than solely importing technology from other countries. The goal is to create high-income job opportunities for the Thai people. The success of the research and development project for standardized interchangeable battery packs for electric motorcycles represents a significant achievement, and it is hoped that researchers, academics, and all organizations will continue to promote the development of Thai technology and innovation for future success.
Professor Sirirurg, M.D., Ph.D. stated that today is very significant because it involves testing the standard battery system for motorcycles. Thailand is one of the world’s leading users of motorcycles, and with the global emphasis on electric energy use, developing electric motorcycles is crucial for the country to transition to a low-carbon society. The development of technology related to electric power propulsion is a vital strategy. Therefore, new standards for electric motorcycle battery systems in Thailand must be developed to become a global standard in the future.
The government has announced its policy to make Thailand the center of electric vehicles in ASEAN. This involves pushing research and development of crucial components and ensuring the production meets the standards and quality. Electric motorcycles have received significant attention due to the high number of registered motorcycles in the country, which reaches 21,423,877, and an annual production of over 2 million units. Approximately 75% are sold domestically, with 25% exported. However, the market for electric motorcycles within the country is very limited, and existing products are expensive and cannot fully meet user requirements. Moreover, there are relatively few electric motorcycle manufacturers due to a lack of technology in the country. Hence, this research is aimed at developing electric motorcycle technology.
The goal of this research is to contribute to the development of new capabilities in Thailand’s modern electric vehicle industry by creating knowledge in developing key components in a swappable battery system for electric motorcycles in the country. This research includes battery pack development, electric motorcycle control systems, and electric charging systems, in collaboration with government agencies and battery and electric motorcycle manufacturers. Nine organizations, including the PTT Public Company Limited as the research funder, Beta Energy Solutions Co., Ltd., GP Motor (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited, i-Motor Manufacturing Co., Ltd., and Gridwise (Thailand) Co., Ltd., are collaborating on this research. They are working together to push for the establishment of a shared technical standard for electric motorcycle batteries, battery packs, and electric charging stations in Thailand. This will make it more convenient for users to swap batteries, reduce production costs, and promote the use of electric motorcycles, which will lead to a self-reliant industry in the country.
The research project has initiated the development of three prototypes: a swappable battery pack standard model for electric motorcycles, two electric motorcycle models from different manufacturers, and three swappable charging stations. These charging stations are located at the front of the Thailand Science Park, Bangchak petrol station on Ekamai-Ramintra Road, and the Power Plant Learning Center of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand in Nonthaburi. These prototypes will be tested under real-world conditions to create recommendations for the development of a platform for Thailand in the future.