Electric Motorcycles in Thailand: Benefits, Prices, and Where to Buy

Electric Motorcycles in Thailand: Benefits, Prices, and Where to Buy

Electric motorcycles are motorcycles that run on electricity and use rechargeable batteries. 

Similar to EVs, electric motorcycles are becoming more popular in Thailand because of government incentives that give discounts of up to THB18,500 for purchases. 

You now see more electric motorcycles on the streets of Thailand, and they will only become more popular in the coming years. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll find out everything you need to know when it comes to buying an electric motorcycle in Thailand, including specs, prices, brands, pros and cons, and how to register your electric motorcycle. 

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Key Takeaways

  • Electric motorcycles are becoming more popular in Thailand since they are eco-friendly and have much lower fuel costs.
  • In addition to low fuel costs, electric motorcycles require very little maintenance.
  • There are many electric motorcycle brands in Thailand. Most of them are new brands from Thailand or China.
  • Because of battery limitations, it’s hard to find an electric motorcycle that can run for more than 100 kilometers per charge.
  • When choosing an electric motorcycle, the motor size should be at least 2,000 watts. Otherwise, it can be too slow to ride on the road.
  • Some electric motorcycles cannot be registered. This means you cannot legally ride them on the main road.

Benefits of Owning an Electric Motorcycle in Thailand 

Here are some advantages to buying an EV.

  • Less fuel cost: The cost to run an electric motorcycle is very cheap. On average, it costs only THB0.1/km (with electric prices at THB4.5/kWh) for an electric motorcycle. For a gas bike, you pay around THB0.8/km (with fuel prices at THB38/liter). 
  • Less maintenance: There’s no engine oil to change. Basically, you need to take care of only the battery, brakes, tires, shocks, and suspension system. 
  • Initial speed: An electric motorcycle’s initial speed is much better than a gas bike. 
  • Convenience: You can charge your electric motorcycle at home. Just plug an adapter into a power outlet. That’s it. No more waiting to fill up at the gas station. If you live in an apartment or a condo, you can remove the batteries and change them in your place. 
  • Environmental friendly: There is zero tailpipe emission with an electric motorcycle. Because Thailand has a major air quality issue right now, by using an electric motorcycle, you’ll play a part in making the environment better for yourself and everyone else. 

Downsides to Owning an Electric Motorcycle

There are a few disadvantages to owning an electric motorcycle.

  • Initial price: The initial price of an electric motorcycle is more expensive than a gas bike. For example, a Deco SuperAce, priced at THB79,900, can run for 100 kilometers with a max speed of 80 km/h. On the other hand, it only costs THB51,000 for a Honda Click 125i. And it comes with a better max speed of 100 km/h and can run for 200 kilometers.  
  • Distance: The average maximum distance of an electric motorcycle is only 100 kilometers. With this number, it’s good to use to get to work and back or run to the store. However, it’s not suitable for long-distance rides. 
  • Charging times: Charging time depends on battery size, type, and a charging station. On average, it takes three to four hours to fully charge an electric motorcycle.
  • Lack of charging stations: The number of charging stations in Thailand is still limited, even in Bangkok. 
  • Replacement tires: The engine for an electric motorcycle is normally located near the back wheels. Because it’s a new technology, most mechanics won’t replace your back tire because they’re afraid of damaging the engine. 
  • Too quiet: Because an electric motorcycle is very quiet, other cars may not notice you. So, you should be extra careful when riding one on the streets. 
  • Brand reputation: Unlike gas motorcycles, electric motorcycles in Thailand are manufactured by new brands from Thailand and China that you may have never heard of before. 

What to Consider

In addition to price, you need to consider five other factors before buying an electric motorcycle in Thailand: 

  • Watts
  • Battery types
  • Charging speeds
  • Maintenance
  • License plates

Let’s take a look at each factor.

Watts

Generally, the motor size of electric motorcycles in Thailand range from 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts. 

The higher the wattage, the greater the acceleration and maximum speed of your electric motorcycle. Consequently, the price is also going to be higher.

Below is an average max speed of the motor size for each wattage.

  • 1,000 watts: 60 km/hour
  • 2,000 watts: 80 km/hour
  • 3,000 watts: 90 km/hour
  • 5,000 watts: 100 km/hour

At the very least, you should aim for a 2,000-watt electric motorcycle with a minimum max speed of 80 km/hour. 

electric motorcycles booth
You will see many places now start selling electric motorcycles.

If the max speed is low, driving speeds might be too slow to ride on Thailand’s main roads, which is going to be unsafe for both you and other drivers. 

Please note that max speeds can vary because there are many other factors involved, including the weight of the rider.

Battery Types

There are two main types of batteries for electric motorcycles in Thailand: lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries. 

According to Green Power Energy, here are their main differences: 

  • Lithium-ion: The same type of battery in mobile phones and laptops. They’re lightweight, charge quickly, and can last longer than a lead-acid battery. However, they’re more expensive as well. 
  • Lead-acid: Many budget electric motorcycles have lead-acid batteries because they are much cheaper than lithium-ion batteries. However, they’re heavier and provide fewer charging cycles. 

Charging Speeds

The charging speed of an electric motorcycle depends on these four factors:

  • Charging technology
  • Adapters
  • Power outlets
  • Battery types

Lithium-ion batteries can take three to four hours to fully charge at home. Lead-acid batteries take six to eight hours. 

Maintenance

While an electric motorcycle requires less maintenance, it’s still a good idea to check how easy it is to find spare parts of the bike and find a mechanic in the area. 

One pro right now is that it’s possible to buy parts online from Lazada and have it delivered to your home. 

Read more: How to Find a Good Mechanic in Your Area

License Plates

Not all electric motorcycles can be registered with the Department of Land Transport. 

So, if you want to use it on the main roads, make sure you can register your electric motorcycle and that it qualifies for a license plate like gas electric motorcycles. 

unregistered electric motorcycle in Thailand
With an unregistered electric motorcycle, you can ride it only on a small soi. You can’t legally ride it on the main road.

On the other hand, if you want an electric motorcycle to drive up and down a small soi or to a nearby market, you can buy an electric motorcycle that you don’t need to register, which will be cheaper than buying one you have to register. 

In fact, an unregistered electric motorcycle is especially popular for people who live in gated communities and need to get to the neighborhood convenience store or market. 

The electric motorcycle market in Thailand is still quite young and dominated by Thai or Chinese brands that you may have never heard of before.

Below is a list of popular electric motorcycle Brands in Thailand:

  • DECO: One of the first brands to sell electric motorcycles in Thailand. 
  • Lion: In addition to electric motorcycles, it makes electric bikes and tricycles. 
  • AJ: Previously, AJ was known for speakers, DVD players, and kitchen appliances. Now, it has expanded its product line to include various electric motorcycle models. 
  • HAONAIQI: Electric motorcycles from China that are imported by electric motorcycle company, Lion. 
  • H Sem: Another brand of Chinese electric motorcycles. 

Other brands include Sleek EV, EM, Lyva, Scomadi, and Zeeho.

A Comparison of Electric Motorcycles

To give you a better idea about what’s available on the market, the table below compares popular models and brands of electric motorcycles. All prices are in Thai Baht.

ModelSleek PlayEM OwenLyva MKKScomadi TURISMO electricAZEEHO AE8 S+
Price66,900 58,900 75,00 149,900 149,900 
Watts3,000 Watts2,500 Watts2,500 Watts3,000 Watts5,000 Watts
Max Speed90 km/hour75 km/hour85 km/hour90 km/hour100 km/hour
Distance80 km100 km100 km100 km140 km
Battery TypeLithium-IonLithium-IonLFP BatteryLithium-IonLithium-Ion NMC
Charging Time3.5 hours4 hours4 hours4 hours6 hours

Registered Vs. Unregistered Electric Motorcycles

Because there are two types of electric motorcycles in Thailand, let’s take a quick look at how they differ. 

Registered Electric Motorcycles

With a registered electric motorcycle, you can get a license plate and a green book like a normal gas-powered motorcycle.

But prices are going to be much more expensive than those for unregistered electric motorcycles. Normally, registered electric motorcycles start at THB35,000 for a basic model.

If you need a good electric motorcycle that can drive around 80 kilometers per charge, you should expect to pay at least THB60,000.

Unregistered Electric Motorcycles

With this type of electric motorcycle, you cannot get a license plate or green book. This means you cannot legally ride it on the streets. It’s mainly for those who need to get from home to a nearby market or store.

But prices are two to three times cheaper than registered electric motorcycles. Specs, however, can be slightly lower. 

You can also buy them online from Lazada.

Where to Buy an Electric Motorcycle

There are two ways you can buy an electric motorcycle in Thailand:

  • Visit a dealership
  • Look online 

Actually, buying an electric motorcycle online from a site like Lazada is quite popular because of the limited number of dealerships in Thailand.

When buying online, there are a few things you should ask a seller beforehand:

  • Do you need to assemble the motorcycle yourself? If it’s a budget electric motorcycle, you may need to assemble it yourself. It’s not that hard if you have some mechanical skills.
  • How do you register an electric motorcycle? In some cases, you need to register it yourself. 

Pro tip: If you want to get the best price for an electric motorcycle, you should buy it online and wait for the double-deal day such May 5, June 6, November 11, December 12, and so on. During those days, the sites normally offer coupons of up to THB4,000. 

How to Charge Your Electric Motorcycle

When you buy an electric motorcycle, it will come with a charging adapter. You can plug it directly into a power socket just like you would a laptop charger. 

electric motorcycle charger
You can charge your electric motorcycle with a charging adapter like you are charging your laptop.

That said, there are three ways you can charge an electric motorcycle:

  1. Using a power adapter plugged into a power socket. 
  2. Removing the battery and charging it at home. 
  3. Paying for a top up at a charging station, convenient store, or shopping mall. 

In order to use method number three, your electric motorcycle must come with an AC Type 2 socket, which is usually only available on registered electric motorcycles. 

How to Register Your Electric Motorcycle

If you can register your electric motorcycle at the Department of Land Transport (DLT), the registration process is the same as that of a gas bike. Just visit your local DLT with the following documents:

  • Application; you can pick one up at the DLT
  • A signed copy of your passport (photo page, current visa, and most recent Thailand entry stamp), plus all the originals
  • Residence certificate
  • The electric motocycle’s green book
  • Por Ror Bor
  • Registration fee: THB505

Related Articles:

Should You Buy a Used Electric Motorcycle?

You shouldn’t buy a used electric motorcycle in Thailand out of safety concerns. 

There are many people here that customize their electric motorcycles by modifying the engines or using batteries that aren’t supported by the dealership. Doing so can increase the chance of fire, especially while charging batteries. 

Now, on to You

While electric motorcycles are still new to Thailand, they are becoming more popular. 

Because of lower fuel and maintenance costs, more and more electric motorcycles are on the streets nowadays. 

If you’re planning to buy one, you should only buy from a reputable brand. 

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Saran Lhawpongwad is a Bangkokian by birth. He loves to share what he learns based on his insights living and running business in Thailand. While not at his desk, he likes to be outdoors exploring the world with his family. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn.

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