Press Reviews

S’pore startup Oyika offers EV battery swapping services for riders with its subscription plan

Jinsi Lee had first entered the renewable energy sector in 2007 with the ambition of building a solar thin-film manufacturing plant in Singapore.

It wasn’t the best timing though. At that time, the solar module price was at US$4 per watt. Prices had dropped faster than anticipated (for perspective, it stands at under US$0.30 per watt today), so that venture didn’t pan out.

He subsequently joined Sunseap, which became Singapore’s largest solar power producer, to spearhead their overseas operations. During his time in the company, he helped complete Cambodia’s first 10MW solar farm and a 140MW solar farm in Rajasthan, India, which was the largest for a Singapore consortium at the time.

Feeling regretful about his first failed venture, Jinsi decided to strike out on his own again with Oyika in 2018, and even received financial backing from the founders of Sunseap. To date, Oyika has received US$10 million funding.

Oyika aims to speed up electric motorbike adoption

Jinsi Lee, founder and CEO of Oyika / Image Credit: Oyika

Jinsi strongly believed that energy storage, or simply batteries, is the “next wave in renewable energy”.

He noted that solar and wind are intermittent power — depending on the time of day and weather conditions — so they require storage for that energy to be used at other times of the day, unlike traditional power plants that generate electricity with coal or natural gas on demand.

However, energy storage is still too expensive for wide-scale adoption as part of an energy grid. The economics for battery-powered vehicles is more palatable and can happen sooner.

The smaller and lighter the vehicle, the better the economics for electric vehicles (EVs), therefore the focus on powering motorbikes. Southeast Asia (SEA) happens to have the highest concentration of motorbikes in the world.

– Jinsi Lee, founder and CEO of Oyika

It’s also interesting to note that Oyika may be a Singapore startup, but it currently only has presence in Indonesia and Cambodia. Motorbikes constitute 85 per cent of the vehicle population in these two countries. In contrast, Singapore has a small motorbike population of only 140,000.

Image Credit: Oyika

Out of the entire region, Indonesia owns the biggest market share for motorbikes with a total of 125 million motorbikes, and it’s also the third-largest in the world after India and China.

Jinsi shared that he also chose to enter Cambodia because he was involved in his first solar farm project there, and felt that it would be a good first place outside of Singapore to trial their battery swap products and services.

With its Battery-as-a-Service (BaasS) offering, Oyika helps to solve three primary pain points for electric motorbike adoptions: range anxiety, long charging times, and the upfront purchase cost of EV batteries.

How Oyika’s EV battery swapping service works

Oyika app with shared bike and swap station in Cambodia / Image Credit: Oyika

BaaS is basically a leased battery that comes with battery swaps. A rider can swap his depleted battery for a fully charged one at a nearby “swap station” located at a convenience store or petrol kiosk, explained Jinsi.

The swapping process takes less than a minute, and it’s no different from topping up petrol at a kiosk when running out of fuel. Their batteries are also compatible with most existing mass-market electric motorbikes in SEA.

We remove the upfront purchase cost of the battery from an electric motorbike. The battery can be half the overall cost of the bike, making EV adoption a more affordable and compelling proposition.

Furthermore, batteries purchased with electric motorbikes degrade over time, requiring riders to periodically replace them throughout their bikes’ lifespan. With battery swapping, riders need not worry about battery replacement and upgrades.

– Jinsi Lee, founder and CEO of Oyika

Oyika offers packages such as pay-per-use (US$0.05 a minute), prepaid weekly (US$18 a week) and monthly (US$72 a month) subscription plans, where battery swaps are bundled with an electric motorbike. This is a similar concept to telco subscription plans that bundle data and calls with mobile phones.

Battery swap at station / Image Credit: Oyika

A single swap costs US$1, which takes an electric motorbike about 50km in range. An electric motorbike may carry up to two batteries, or carry one and swap more regularly.

Most single trips are less than 15km, with daily trips under 30km. For a 100km range on an electric motorbike, it costs US$2 for swaps.

“A gasoline bike requires about three litres of petrol to travel 100km. Assuming pump price of US$1.50 per litre (it costs more in Singapore), that’s US$4.50 for 100km of range on a gasoline bike,” calculates Jinsi.

He further shared that when they first launched their monthly subscription plan in Cambodia in the second half of 2019, it “did not fly” even though it was cheaper than gasoline motorbikes.

He reasoned that there was a lot of “apprehension about electric motorbikes” then and after all, people were already comfortable with gasoline motorbikes.

The following year in May 2020, Oyika went ahead to launch a pay-as-you-go ride-share programme despite them not being able to step foot into Cambodia due to Covid-19.

“The goal was to make it simpler and cheaper for the public to be exposed to electric motorbikes,” said Jinsi.

Oyika even managed to secure grant support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as well as formal approval from the Phnom Penh City Administration (PPCA) in October 2021 to be a part of the city’s public bus programme.

Under this programme, the startup deployed ride-share bikes at 11 public bus stops to bridge the first- and last-mile gap and increase ridership of the buses.

Covid-19 challenges

According to Jinsi, their biggest business challenge is operating in an environment where gasoline bikes are already “well-established and entrenched”.

Additionally, they are promoting electric motorbikes — along with their batteries and swap infrastructure — in markets that not only have no subsidy, but also lack of financing for EVs. Particularly in Indonesia, Oyika also competes against subsidised petrol that costs one-fifth the price of Singapore.

Image Credit: Oyika

Despite the challenges, Oyika has managed to earn the support of major electric motorbike manufacturers to pair their bikes with Oyika batteries.

It took a while, but we eventually got the buy-in Indonesia’s national e-motorbike brand Gesits to launch a bike version with our swappable batteries.

– Jinsi Lee, founder and CEO of Oyika

In mid-2021, Oyika also worked with international brands Yadea and Tailing, which are the world’s first and third best-selling e-motorbike brands respectively.

Both companies integrated what will be the first of several models with Oyika’s battery swap system for their foray into SEA, and the bikes are currently being homologated (certified for road use) in Indonesia.

However, Covid-19 has brought about a whole new set of challenges, such as causing significant disruptions to their expansion plans.

“We encountered months of lockdowns in Indonesia, supply chain disruptions causing delivery delays of our batteries, swap stations and electric motorbikes. Despite all the challenges, we (have) made good progress (and) established a strong network of partners, both domestically and internationally,” said Jinsi.

The pandemic has also delayed its fundraising plans, in which it targeted to raise US$100 million to roll out 30,000 power subscription plans with electric motorbike bundles across Indonesia.

Regardless, Oyika managed to secure Green Bond Certification for its operations in Indonesia with the support of the Asian Development Bank, which enables them to raise Green Bond for their expansion there.

“This also means that motorbikes powered by Oyika batteries are eligible for green finance. This is a milestone for us and a powerful statement. We can track our batteries from their inception to their second life use in energy storage systems (ESS) and final decommissioning, where they are sent for recycling,” he added.

Oyika is helping to build EV charging stations in S’pore

Singapore has been very vocal about its plans to phase out Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles by 2040.

As part of this ambition, it is ramping up efforts to build 60,000 EV charging stations in Singapore by 2030, up from the initial target of 28,000.

Oyika is actually one of two consortiums that have been awarded tender by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to install 600 charging stations in public car parks.

Jinsi expressed that Singapore has the ability to be SEA’s EV capital by leading in EV adoption.

“Norway has about the same population size as Singapore, and they have shown the way forward for the electrification of personal transport,” he said.

“In Norway, an oil-producing country — where the fossil fuel sector contributes 14 per cent of the country’s GDP and government revenue — EVs are able to contribute more than 80 per cent of new car sales.”

He added that while Singapore has only 140,000 motorbikes in Singapore, there are 100,000 Malaysian motorbikes registered for auto-clearance to cross into Singapore. Half that number enter Singapore daily.

Image Credit: Oyika

Oyika desires to incentivise those bikes entering Singapore to be electric, (but) it requires coordination on both sides of the causeway. That is no mean feat. If that can be achieved, imagine a much quieter and pollution-free causeway, and the well-being of those who travel to and from Johor and Singapore daily.

It will be cheaper for the riders too, regardless of whether they conduct their battery swaps in Singapore or Malaysia.

– Jinsi Lee, founder and CEO of Oyika

Ultimately, Oyika aims to lower the barriers to EV adoption in SEA via the bundling of EV charging with EVs on a monthly subscription plan, starting out with electric motorbikes.

Moving forward, it hopes to expand its footprint in Africa as well as expand the use of its batteries to power off-grid homes. It noted that there are currently 30 million people in SEA and 600 million in Africa who lack access to electricity.

Home dock for off-grid electrification / Image Credit: Oyika

In fact, it is already conducting trials to prove that its portable batteries — which are charged at a swap station powered by solar at a centralised location — can help power homes.

“(It) is a simpler, cheaper and more scalable alternative to individual solar home systems and micro-grids,” he summed up.

Featured Image Credit: Oyika

Oyika’s ride share brand Go2 was featured by UNDP Cambodia during a week of events dedicated to “Electrification of Vehicles for a Cleaner Cambodia”

04.11.2021-Oyika’s ride share brand Go2 was featured by UNDP Cambodia during a week of events dedicated to “Electrification of Vehicles for a Cleaner Cambodia”

In the beginning of November 2021, Oyika’s ride share brand Go2 was featured by UNDP Cambodia during a week of events dedicated to “Electrification of Vehicles for a Cleaner Cambodia”.

Go2 / Oyika was recognised as playing an important role in the transition to e-transportation in Phnom Penh city.

This short documentary showcases riders of Go2’s electric motorbikes – their experiences in their own words.

Oyika is proud to support Phnom Penh’s drive to become a smart city.

Oyika revving up greener rides in Southeast Asia with power subscriptions bundled with e-motorbikes

01.04.2021 – Oyika revving up greener rides in Southeast Asia with power subscriptions bundled with e-motorbikes

Source news
Singapore startup to offer leases on battery packs, bundling these with e-bike subscriptions. It also aims to bring power to those off the grid with those same battery packs.

OYIKA wants to pull off the electrification of mobility in South-east Asia, specifically by bundling subscriptions to electric motorbikes with fully-charged battery packs that power these bikes.

Read more…

The company offers a subscription-based battery-sharing concept that allows e-motorbike riders to swap their depleted leased battery for a fully charged one. All they need to do is stop at an Oyika “swap station”, which looks like a parcel locker terminal

Oyika proud to be part of the Yinson family-Yinson invests in Singapore start-up, accelerating e-mobility adoption

16.06.2021 – Oyika proud to be part of the Yinson family-Yinson invests in Singapore start-up, accelerating e-mobility adoption

KUALA LUMPUR: Yinson Holdings Bhd’s green technologies division (YGT) has invested in Oyika Pte Ltd (Oyika) to accelerate electric vehicles (EV) adoption in Southeast Asia via the latter’s affordable, app-based solution and battery swap infrastructure.

Oyika, a Singapore-based start-up, aims to lower the barriers to EV adoption in the region with a battery swap service bundled with an electric motorbike (e-motorbike) made available through affordable subscription plans.

Yinson said Oyika works with local e-motorbike manufacturers to adapt their brand-agnostic technology for local use.

Its swappable batteries work with most e-motorbike brands and models in Southeast Asia.

Subscribers to its pay-per-use, prepaid weekly or postpaid monthly plan can swap depleted batteries for fully charged ones at any Oyika swap station within a minute.

Oyika aims to develop its technology further and strengthen its market position in Southeast Asia, backed by Yinson’s support, network and experience in logistics and energy solutions,

Oyika’s core strength in technology development also presents synergistic opportunities with Yinson’s green technologies investment plans in Malaysia.

Yinson group executive vice president (new ventures and technology) Eirik Barclay said the company aims

to create a pathway for electric mobility to become an integrated way of life, transitioning the current fossil fuel-reliant system into a clean, sustainable one.

“Southeast Asia is the world’s largest motorbike market, with motorbikes constituting up to 85 per cent of vehicle population in countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam, the two largest motorbike markets in the region.

“And less than 0.1 per cent of them are electric. Each internal combustion engine motorbike on the road replaced by an e-motorbike saves about one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. Thus, a significant reduction in carbon emissions can be made through the introduction of such EV solutions,” Eirik said in a statement today.

Yinson group chief strategy officer Daniel Bong said YGT and Oyika shared the same goal of bringing about a more environmentally sustainable transport network by working with like-minded partners.

“This investment, together with our recent investment into autonomous driverless solution company MooVita, presents the first step of our roadmap towards building an integrated green logistics solution.

“Yinson is investing into green technologies to help mitigate global climate issues. We believe that being early movers in future-proof technologies, and capitalising on strategic partnerships with the public and private sectors, is an important way to bring sustained value to our stakeholders continually,” he added.

Oyika chief executive officer Jinsi Lee said the company is glad to receive Yinson’s endorsement and leverage its resources and global network to bring affordable EV solutions to developing countries.

“We look forward to rolling out Oyika’s subscription plans for EVs, to not only reduce the cost for riders but, more importantly, contribute towards mitigating climate change,” added Jinsi.

Logistics sector best place to promote EV in ASEAN

29.07.2021 – Logistics sector best place to promote EV in ASEAN

Oyika is happy to support the transition providing a state of the art battery swap system that can be adapted to any kind of electric motorbike and modern EV charging station.

Oyika is happy to support the transition providing a state of the art battery swap system that can be adapted to any kind of electric motorbike and modern EV charging station.

Oyika is part of one out of two consortiums awarded a tender to install EV charging infrastructure in carparks in the north and north-east regions, the first of such tender in Singapore

04.09.2021 – Oyika is part of one out of two consortiums awarded a tender to install EV charging infrastructure in car parks in the north and north-east regions, the first of such tender in Singapore

Source news

More than 600 electric vehicle (EV) chargers will be installed at some 200 public car parks in HDB estates, industrial estates and the Central Business District over the next 12 months.

The first of these chargers are expected to be installed by the end of this year.

By the third quarter of next year, there will be 210 charging points in the central region, 50 in the north, 100 in the north-east, 120 in the east and 140 in the west.

Read more…

Oyika’s E-bikes at Phnom Penh bus terminal. Oyika brand Go2 Ride sharing is serving PPCA, CBA and UNPD to integrate bus terminals

03.12.2021 – Oyika’s E-bikes at Phnom Penh bus terminals. Oyika brand Go2 Ride sharing is serving Phnom Penh City Authority (PPCA), City Bus Authority (CBA)  and UNPD to integrate bus terminals with E-bikes

Oyika & Go2 commence their public private partnership with the Phnom Penh City Authority, City Bus Authority & UNDP to provide last mile transportation for City Bus’s passengers from bus stops to their final destinations. Commencing with 11 bus stops we hope to take this program city wide.

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