South Korean firm GCOO brings e-bikes and e-scooters to Phuket

Picture courtesy of GCOO

Phuket, Thailand’s famous tourist destination, is now home to e-bikes and e-scooters, courtesy of South Korean firm GCOO. The company recently launched its clean-energy personal transport services, deploying these eco-friendly vehicles at major points across the island, including Phuket Town and Patong.

The launch, dubbed Phuket Smart Mobility, was celebrated with an event held at the Chartered Bank Intersection in Phuket Town. The e-bikes and scooters are managed by Thai Personal Mobility Co Ltd (TPM), a joint venture between GBike Co Ltd (the Thai arm of GCOO), state-owned National Telecom (NT), and Thai company Dhipaya Insurance.

The initiative aims to champion clean-energy transportation, especially in tourist hotspots. As explained by Supang ‘Lee’ Eawpadung, Chief of GCOO’s Southern Regional Office, the first phase includes 100 e-bikes each in Phuket Town and at Patong Beach, 30 e-scooters at Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus, and 100 e-scooters at Phuket Rajabhat University. Meanwhile, Kata, Karon, and Kamala beaches are next in line for the service expansion.

The launch event saw the attendance of key figures like Phuket Vice Governor Sattha Thongkham, NT President Col Sanphachai Huvanandana, Dhipaya Insurance Executive Vice President Suphap Pradabkarn, and Jongsu Yoon, CEO of GCOO.

Jongsu highlighted the timely importance of such eco-friendly initiatives amid escalating climate change. He noted that micro-mobilities are a sustainable transportation alternative, and he was thrilled to see Phuket joining the wave towards achieving the Net Zero mission, reported The Phuket News.

He offered three significant reasons for launching GCOO in Thailand. First, the country’s remarkable civic awareness, especially concerning environmental matters, is key to the success of micro-mobility services. Second, the stable communication network and dependable insurance services in the country make it an ideal choice. Finally, on a personal note, Jongsu has a special connection with Thailand, given that his wife was born and raised in Bangkok, and they spent their honeymoon in Phuket.

The e-bikes and e-scooters are equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) technology linked via NT’s 5G network, which aids in tracking the vehicles 24/7 to prevent theft. Moreover, the IoT links allow GCOO’s vehicle management platform to monitor battery levels and usage patterns to determine the need for vehicles in specific areas.

Dhipaya’s involvement in the project ensures life insurance coverage for accidents, including medical expenses, for the users of these e-bikes and e-scooters.

However, the use of e-bikes and e-scooters in Phuket has previously been a topic of contention. Last year, officials at the Provincial Hall started using them to assess their safety. In February of the same year, Phuket police banned electric scooters from all public roads following the seizure of four electric scooters ridden by tourists in Patong.

The police have not yet publicly announced their stance on the order issued last year.

Phuket News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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