Thailand's state energy firm PTT is set to launch its first 10 electric motorcycles as it tests the local market this year.

The company said it has received 3,000 orders for the electric motorcycles. It will adjust the cost of its electric motorcycles to about 70,000 baht ($2,280) per unit to gain a commercial sales volume benefit.

Wittawat Svasti-Xuto, chief technology and engineering officer, said PTT’s involvement in electric motorcycles follows the group’s support of Thai start-up Etran, which is a designer and developer of electric motorcycles, to test the market.

“The investment in the electric motorcycle business is in line with PTT’s strategy to invest in the electricity value chain,” he said.

“Initially, we admit that the investment cost in manufacturing electric motorcycles is still high at about 100,000 baht per unit. We plan to reduce the manufacturing cost for each electric motorcycle to about 70,000 baht to support its commercial purpose,” said Wittawat.

“So far, we have received orders from interested customers for about 3,000 units.”

He said that to test the market, the group’s start-up has ordered the manufacturer to make 10 electric motorcycles under a sub-contract manufacturing agreement. As the motorbikes are not being mass produced yet, the retail price is still high.

However, if the price is reduced to about 70,000 baht per unit, they could be more easily sold, Wittawat said.

The investment plan for electric motorcycles is one example of the directions that PTT is going following a reshuffle aimed at embracing disruptive technology, as well as the changing behaviour of consumers. THE NATION (THAILAND)