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Chiang Mai man capitalises on EV trend by modifying old cars, bikes


A businessman in Chiang Mai has been cashing in on the electric vehicle (EV) trend by converting old cars and motorcycles for more than a year now.

Phudit Keetaroj, managing director of JP MOTO Classic, said EVs can save energy costs more than seven-fold, which explains the surge in demand.

He said he has been converting vehicles for nearly a year now and interest in his modified cars has been rising thanks to the surge in oil prices. The motors and batteries used in his modified vehicles are imported from China. He said so far he has modified and delivered nine vehicles, most of which are motorbikes and that more than 20 others are waiting to be converted.

He said on average he receives some 20 calls daily from motorists seeking to convert their cars.

Turning a motorbike into an electric one can cost between 20,000 and 60,000 baht, while cars can cost from 150,000 baht to 450,000 baht, depending on their size.

These modified EVs can be charged at home as well as at charging stations, and on average they take two to six hours depending on battery size. Each charge can last for 50 to 150 kilometres, again depending on the battery size.

Phudit said he tries to maintain as much of the existing car chassis for the user’s ease and convenience.

He said his company, the first in Thailand, has also modified an adapted bus (songthaew) as a prototype for 350,000 baht. He said the aim is to reduce both air and noise pollution created by public transport, as well as save energy costs. The songthaew has been serving the public in Chiang Mai for the past six months.

Phudit added that the company is also looking to see if vehicles can be modified to use both electricity and fuel, so users have options in case they are unable to find a charging station.

He added that several educational institutes have approached his company to share the knowledge, and he said the firm is happy to do so.

Chiang Mai man capitalises on EV trend by modifying old cars, bikes Chiang Mai man capitalises on EV trend by modifying old cars, bikes Chiang Mai man capitalises on EV trend by modifying old cars, bikes Chiang Mai man capitalises on EV trend by modifying old cars, bikes

 

Published : March 29, 2022

By : THE NATION