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Toyota offers shared electric cars in Thailand

Service begins on university campus in Bangkok

Toyota's electric one-seater will be available to rent on the campus of Chulalongkorn University.

BANGKOK -- Toyota Motor on Tuesday celebrated the launch of a service in Thailand that lets users rent electric cars by the minute, hoping to eventually roll it out to other emerging economies.

The Japanese automaker brought 10 single-seat electric cars to the campus of Chulalongkorn University in the capital. The plan is to increase the fleet to 30 by the middle of next year and expand the service beyond the campus around the end of 2019.

Users will pay 30 baht (92 cents) for the first 20 minutes, and 2 baht per minute thereafter. Membership costs 100 baht. More than 300 people have apparently registered.

Traffic congestion and air pollution are both serious problems in Bangkok. Toyota hopes the service takes root in Thailand, providing it with a business model for emerging countries.

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