Electric vehicles are a common sight on Thailand’s roads. Today, renting an electric car is as simple and convenient as renting a gasoline-powered car. Thailand has an extensive network of electric car charging stations in the provincial capitals and along the country’s road networks.
Drive Car Rental offers a diverse electric and gas-powered vehicle selection and convenient locations throughout Thailand. In this article, we’ll explore renting and driving electric vehicles in the land of smiles.
Electric Versus Gas Cars–What’s Different?
The first thing many drivers new to electric vehicles notice is how quiet the vehicle is–these cars make almost no sound when not in motion. Vehicle occupants are more likely to notice the sound of the air conditioning over any engine noise.
Storage space is also enhanced without a large engine taking up the front of the vehicle. Nearly all electric cars feature both front and rear storage for additional luggage and items bought on shopping trips.
Driving an electric car also offers more on-the-spot power than gas-powered cars. Acceleration in an electric car is nearly instantaneous and continues to stay strong as the vehicle reaches highway speeds. This is thanks to the fact that there is no complex transmission that starts at lower revolutions with each gear change. Rather, the power curve is nearly continuous.
Electric vehicle owners also note that electric cars feel heavier than a gas-powered vehicle. This is because of the added weight of the battery. The added weight may cause some to worry about braking, but it’s not an issue thanks to the braking system electric cars employ.
In addition to traditional brake discs, electric cars also employ regenerative braking. This means the electric motor uses magnets to become a generator that slows the vehicle while feeding power back into the battery. Despite the additional weight, stopping distances in electric cars are comparable to their gasoline equivalents.
The added power of an electric car also comes in handy when driving on Thailand’s mountainous roads in the west and north. No transmission means never having to switch into low gear, and braking while going downhill charges the battery.
The range of electric vehicles varies by manufacturer and model. Tesla Model 3’s typically have a range around 630 kilometres, while Chinese electric vehicles, such as BYD, often clock in around 400 to 500 kilometres.
Taking into account Thailand’s size, electric vehicles are an excellent choice. Driving from Bangkok to Phuket is around 800 kilometres, while driving from Chiang Mai to Bangkok will be around 700 kilometres.
The small size of Thailand means that even the longest road trips will only require one or two stops for charging. Thankfully, electric car charging stations are easy to find in all of the larger cities. Many larger gas and service stations along the road networks also have electric vehicle chargers. A quick Google search will quickly locate charging stations along any route.
Charging a vehicle in Thailand can be a uniquely pleasant experience, as local vendors often congregate around service stations. Try some fried bananas or fresh coconut water while waiting for your car to reach capacity.
Lastly, the cost of driving an electric vehicle is often about half that of a gasoline car. Many drivers report paying around $0.03 per kilometre driven, where gasoline cars are often in the $0.04-to-$0.08 range. Part of the price difference is the cost of gasoline in Thailand, which is higher than what many western countries pay.
Choosing Electric Cars with Drive Car Rental
Visitors wanting to go green on their Thailand holiday are advised to book as far in advance as possible. While Drive Car Rental has a large fleet of vehicles across the country, peak-season rentals can sell out fast.
In Thailand, the tourist high season runs from November to April. Anyone visiting during these months is advised to book their vehicle the moment they have flight tickets. Early bird and long-term car rental discounts are also available for those booking early. Travellers in off-peak months can still take advantage of early booking, and are often presented with a far wider vehicle selection.
Don’t hesitate to ask for a GPS unit to help navigate the bustling streets of Bangkok. These can be added during your vehicle reservation or at the desk during pick up. Browse our full section today and see how Drive Car Rental can help you get around Thailand in the vehicle that’s best for you!