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Toyota to test mini EV-sharing service in Thailand

Two Toyota mini-electric vehicles are pictured. (Photo retrieved from http://www.toyota-global.com/innovation/environmental_technology/electric_vehicle/)

Toyota Motor Corp will test a car-sharing service using its mini electric vehicle model in Thailand from December in the first move to provide an environmentally friendly transportation means in emerging countries that face air pollution in large cities.

Ten one-passenger EVs will be put to use on the campus of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, following similar experiments in small and large cities, including Tokyo and the southeastern French city of Grenoble.

"We would like to spread a comfortable and convenient mobility network," senior Toyota official Keiji Yamamoto said at a press conference in the Thai capital last week.

In the planned demonstration test, users can drive the COMS vehicle for 30 baht for 20 minutes on the campus between 7am and 7pm on weekdays, with payment settled by credit card or debit card via a designated smartphone application.

Currently, students and others normally move across the spacious campus by motorcycle taxi.

The Japanese automaker will add 20 more EVs at the school next July and continue the trial to assess the results in November 2019 for its future commercialisation.

Toyota has begun similar trials in various domestic locations such as Okinawa and Okayama prefectures on the basis of a project in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, where the company is headquartered. 

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