BANGKOK – Toyota Motor Corp. will test a car-sharing service in Thailand using its mini electric vehicle model from December.
It is believed to be the first attempt to provide an environmentally friendly transportation solution in an emerging country facing urban air pollution.
Ten one-passenger EVs will be put to use on the campus of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. Similar experiments have been conducted in small and large cities, including Tokyo and the southeastern French city of Grenoble.
“We would like to spread a comfortable and convenient mobility network,” senior Toyota official Keiji Yamamoto said at a news conference in the Thai capital last week.
In the planned demonstration test, users will be able to drive the COMS vehicle for 30 baht (about ¥100) per 20 minutes on the campus between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays, with payment settled by credit card or debit card via a designated smartphone application.
Currently, students and others normally move across the spacious campus by motorcycle taxi.
Toyota will add 20 more EVs at the school next July and continue the trial to assess the results in November 2019 for its future commercialization.
Toyota has begun similar trials in various domestic locations such as Okinawa and Okayama prefectures on the basis of a project in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, where the company is headquartered.
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