MANILA, PHILIPPINES (23 January 2024) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and BANPU Public Company Limited signed a 2.4 billion baht loan to support the financing of 1,500 six-seater electric tuktuks (e-tuktuks) and related charging stations for micro-scale transit services in Bangkok, Thailand. The funding will also support a 1.3-gigawatt-hour expansion of a lithium-ion electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility owned by the company in Jiangsu province in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The package also includes a concessional loan of up to $10.7 million from the ADB-administered Clean Technology Fund. ADB will also implement technical assistance, funded by the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility, to assess the potential for micro-scale transit services in other Southeast Asia cities.
“Asia and the Pacific accounts for more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions, and innovative solutions such as electric vehicles for micro-scale transit can ease the transition from fossil fuels,” said ADB Director General for Private Sector Operations Suzanne Gaboury. “Electric vehicle adoption into the public transport sector is a powerful game changer that can help to cut emissions at densely populated urban centres right across the region.”
Thailand is among the most urbanized countries in Southeast Asia, and its transport sector contributes a third of the nation's carbon dioxide emissions. The country’s iconic tuktuks play a vital role in the transport system, linking communities to each other and to the main public transport arteries. The e-tuktuks have been operated under the brand MuvMi, managed by Urban Mobility Tech Company Limited, a BANPU associate company. MuvMi has more than 600 e-tuktuks operating in 12 major areas throughout Bangkok.
The availability of batteries is crucial for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. The PRC plays a prominent role in electric vehicle battery development and energy storage, contributing significantly to global supply. The growth of the battery industry in the PRC has encouraged the adoption of electric vehicle solutions and has the potential to reduce carbon emissions both within the PRC and globally.
“Banpu, through Banpu NEXT Company Limited, has actively been expanding our portfolio of greener energy and energy technology in response to global energy trends. I would like to thank ADB for supporting our commitment. Our shared determination to build sustainable energy is aligned, and this collaboration will expedite our efforts and create a better living for all,” said Banpu Public Company Limited Chief Executive Officer Somruedee Chaimongkol.
Founded in 1983, BANPU is a leading energy company with a global business presence across the Asia and the Pacific, and a presence in the United States. In 2015, BANPU began integrating clean energy and emission-reduction initiatives into its operations and announced an accelerated transition plan toward more green and sustainable operations following its Greener & Smarter strategy.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.