07 Sept 2023 – Due to the high cost of EV batteries, Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS) is gaining traction, allowing customers to lease batteries, reducing the barriers to EV adoption, and opening up new business opportunities for battery swapping services.
There are 250 million motorcycles in Southeast Asia, presenting good prospects for motorcycle electrification. Local technology startup Oyika is seizing the opportunity in Southeast Asia and has established its presence in four regional countries, offering battery swapping for electric motorcycles.
Oyika’s co-founder and CEO, Lee Jinsi, stated in an interview with Zaobao that batteries that generally accompany the purchase of electric motorcycles degrade over time and require periodic replacements. BaaS absolves riders from such concerns.
The company’s battery design makes it compatible with most of the mass-market electric motorcycles across Southeast Asia, and they provide affordable power subscription packages, bundling battery swaps with electric motorcycles, similar to how telcos bundle data and call services with mobile phones.
Jinsi explains, “Riders only need to go to a nearby convenience store to swap depleted batteries for fully charged ones, a process that takes less than a minute, similar to refuelling at a gas station.”
The company has expanded to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia, with plans to enter Vietnam and the Philippines.
Indonesia boasts Southeast Asia’s largest electric motorcycle market, accounting for half of the region’s overall market size. The company has 200 swap stations in the capital, Jakarta. Jinsi noted that Indonesia has over 70 electric motorcycle manufacturers, but only three providers offer battery-swapping services.
Oyika has over 100 employees across the region, with its headquarters in Singapore primarily focusing on research and development and operational support to the region. Unlike most companies, Oyika began overseas and has yet to deploy its swap stations in Singapore.
Despite the modest population of 140,000 registered motorbikes in the city-state, Jinsi believes the influx of 100,000 Malaysian motorbikes registered for auto-clearance to enter Singapore – half that number crossing the border into Singapore daily – holds significant promise.
Jinsi opines that the logistics sector is at the forefront of this electric transition, primarily due to the substantial savings in operational costs. Delivery riders, on average, travel about 100 km a day, three times more than the average user.
Oyika secured a total of US$20 million across two funding rounds to date. Investors include venture capital firms with a focus on decarbonization and clean energy technology, namely TRIREC and SEACEF. And corporations, Yinson and Banpu, both in the energy sector undergoing a strategic shift towards clean energy solutions.
Translated from Zaobao