EESL invests Rs 37 crore in Thailand’s electric two-wheeler maker SWAG EV

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 02 Nov 2020


The state-run Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) has announced an initial investment of $5 million (Rs 37 crore) Thailand-based electric two-wheeler maker SWAG EV. The move is said to promote the concept of convergence – bringing together electric mobility, renewable energy and carbon finance to catalyse energy transformation in Southeast Asia.

SWAG EV says by using e-bikes with swappable batteries, most of which will be charged by solar power, they could drive the transformation to healthier cities while fighting climate change. Batteries on wheels create an overlap between e-mobility, solar energy storage and a more flexible power grid. The accelerating demand for climate-friendly e-bikes will drastically increase the capacity of the power grid to handle a higher share of renewable energy and trigger decarbonisation in Thailand. The EV maker says the concept is replicable across the world and this project will serve as the basis for implementation in India.

EESL’s initial $5 million (Rs 37 crore) investment was conceptualised by SHIFT Asia, a carbon finance-platform designed and operated by South Pole to mobilise climate finance for e-mobility. In addition to its investment, SHIFT will co-fund the e-bike charging infrastructure in designated service areas to make battery swapping and charging simple and convenient.

A major mid-term outcome of the SHIFT program is to use these batteries in their second life as a distributed renewable energy storage facility, providing the Thailand energy grid with the flexibility to manage a higher share of variable renewable energy. They will be charged during the day with surplus solar power (when electricity demand is too low), and discharged during the evening power peak, when there is more demand than supply of electricity.

Saurabh Kumar, executive vice-chairperson, EESL Group Companies: “As the power sector across the world deals with more renewable energy and electric mobility takes off, it is  essential that we, as key stakeholders, join forces and enable a clean, green, and electric future for better public health and quality of life – for ourselves and our coming generation. EESL is driven by the objective of facilitating faster adoption of disruptive technology solutions, while balancing economic development and environmental sustainability.”

Janson Chen, executive director, SWAG EV: “We are committed to catalysing e-mobility in SEA, which has the highest use of 2-wheelers per capita and a growing middle-income consumer segment. We are thrilled to have such a respected investor as EESL supporting our vision, and excited to scale it further, together with our partners and investors.”

Ingo Puhl, co-founder and MD Thailand, South Pole: “We are excited to be part of these pilot projects, which test the convergence concept of shared batteries, climate change and renewable energy, and have the potential to transform transportation across Asia where motorcycles are widely used. It also has the possibility of massively reducing emissions as a valuable side-effect.”

Mahua, member of the Board of Directors at South Pole: “It has been wonderful to bring South Pole, EESL and SWAG together to develop energy concepts of the future, and I am so pleased to see South Pole and EESL take on such a leadership role in driving the renewable energy transformation across South and Southeast Asia.”