BANGKOK -- Toyota Motor will launch an electric-vehicle sharing service in Thailand, offering 30 cars at a university by mid-2018 in its first such venture in an emerging economy.
The service launches this December on the Chulalongkorn University campus here under a partnership announced Thursday. It will start out with 10 ultracompact single-seaters bookable via smartphone. The cars will cost 30 baht (90 cents) for the first 20 minutes.
The Japanese automaker and the university will study the effects on curbing traffic congestion and air pollution, both serious problems for emerging countries.
Thai Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana, who attended Toyota's event on the service, reiterated the government's commitment to supporting local production of hybrids and electrics. Thailand has been welcoming electric-vehicle businesses and encouraging the industry's growth.