Published on February 28th, 2017 | by Geetika Bhasin
Thai-based startup plans to launch 3D printed taxi motorcycles in Bangkok
Etran Group, is a Thai-based startup that is hoping to raise 300 million Thai Baht for starting a taxi service. It will use 3D printed motorcycles to run this taxi service, which starts as early as September this year.
There are many traffic hassles while driving that leaves the driver frustrated. There is always a constant gridlock of vehicles on the road in Bangkok. The bottlenecks make it absolutely difficult for motorists to reach their destinations on time.
The new transport system that the Etran Group hopes to launch on the roads of Bangkok, could well be the solution to the traffic jams, road hazards, pollution and problems faced by the drivers. This new startup is seeking raise about $8.6 million from a pre-Series A round to develop an exciting taxi service of 3D printed electric motorcycles.
Motorcycles are not so common in other parts of the world but in Thailand, they are the most convenient modes of transport. It is easier to move through stalled traffic and the driver can reach the destination faster in a two-wheeler than in a car.
Soranun Choochut, chief executive officer of Etran, explained in a press conference last week in which he introduced his venture. He said that they will rent the 3D printed motorcycles at half of their usual fuel costs which will enable drivers to gain a surplus income of Bt 36,000 a year. These new electric motorcycles are dubbed Etran Proms, and their drivers will be given a smart card which can be used to start the vehicle, get maintenance, and pay rental fees. The taxis will also be equipped with IoT technology.
Summit Auto Parts will be assembling the 3D printed Prom Etran vehicles. The motorcycle taxi will have a division between driver and passenger for better comfort. The 5,000-watt motors and batteries will be provided by Chinese suppliers, with which the vehicles will be able to hit maximum speeds of 80 km/h (50 mph) over a distance of 60 km (37 miles).