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Home Lifestyle Why are electric motorcycles not gaining traction in S'pore?

Why are electric motorcycles not gaining traction in S’pore?

In a bid for a greener Singapore, sustainability initiatives have change into the norm throughout varied industries.

One of many essential contributors to the trigger is Singapore’s land transport sector, with its goal to cut back peak land transport emissions by 80 per cent. This explains its push for a stronger electric car inhabitants to strive meet the imaginative and prescient of 100 per cent clear power automobiles by 2040.

Lately, EVs have garnered recognition over time in Singapore and buses are slowly transitioning to electric as effectively, however what about electric motorcycles?

Why solely EV vehicles?

Electric motorcycles exist already in the market from over a decade in the past. There have been eight previous to 2015, earlier than dwindling to only two. The quantity remained virtually stagnant over time regardless of the rise in EV vehicles – 1,855 vehicles to 5 electric motorcycles, making up solely 0.004 per cent of the native bike inhabitants.

Motorcycle population by CC rating
Motorbike inhabitants by CC ranking / Picture Credit score: Land Transport Authority (LTA)
Car population by CC rating
Automobile inhabitants by CC ranking / Picture Credit score: LTA

Based on LTA statistics, the variety of motorcycles and vehicles are at roughly 141,000 and 641,000 in 2021 respectively.

The variety of current motorcycles is considerably decrease than vehicles, however regardless of having a lot decrease numbers, the proportion of EV bike uptake in comparability to EV vehicles has barely made a dent in the market.

There’s simply not sufficient of the breadth and depth of credible and viable EV bike fashions that LTA has accredited to this point that may fulfill customers’ wants. Singapore can be a car-first market, with motorcycles being a a lot smaller inhabitants set in comparison with vehicles.

– James Chan, founding father of ION Mobility

Headquartered in Singapore, ION Mobility is a tech-automative firm that goals to create and ship inexpensive and sustainable mobility.

It champions electric mobility and complementary power storage options, with a mission to create and ship good electric motorbikes and power storage options to supply a fascinating various for bike riders.

Consideration for affordability

Value is sort of at all times a excessive consideration issue for many patrons. Just like EV vehicles, electric motorcycles rely closely on lithium-ion batteries, the one most costly part of an electric bike.

Nonetheless, in comparison with EV vehicles with its expensive insurance coverage, passionate riders have choices in the electric bike space.

SONDORS Metacycle
SONDORS Metacycle / Picture Credit score: SONDORS

As of this 12 months, the most affordable EV bike that buyers can contemplate is from SONDORS — an organization that focuses on constructing inexpensive electric bicycles — at S$5,000, or the Gogoro Smartscooter 2, priced at roughly S$2,500.

Though nonetheless unavailable in Singapore, the SONDORS Metacycle’s inexpensive price ticket means extra choices for the common rider. Different electric bike choices vary from S$19,000 to over S$100,000.

Moreover, factoring in the latest gasoline improve, a full cost for electric motorcycles prices a lot lower than a full tank of petrol.

For instance, the Harley Davidson LiveWire at 150hp, 235km of vary, and a 15.5kWh battery with a full cost at a Shell Recharge station is priced at S$8.35, making it S$0.55 per kWh. In distinction, the Honda Africa Twin — with roughly 100hp and a gasoline consumption fee of 21km per litre — prices S$9.52 to cowl 100km.

Travelling made inconvenient?

Regardless of potential for affordability, the fantastic thing about driving a motorbike is its capability to tour with ease throughout borders — suppose driving events touring from Malaysia to Thailand.

Nonetheless, most electric motorcycles that are at present in manufacturing solely provide a spread of 240km or much less in a single cost, with some overlaying roughly solely 80km earlier than flat lining. Therefore, the brief vary limits the rider’s final pleasure and touring capability.

Shell Recharge
Shell Recharge station permits drivers to cost their EVs from zero to 80 per cent in a fast 30 minutes / Picture Credit score: Electrive

Even when riders had been to attempt to cost up their electric motorcycles alongside the touring journey, there’s merely a scarcity of charging factors.

As of 2021, there are just one,600 public charging factors – that is not a big quantity, particularly when factoring in the lengthy cost occasions and in a single day use. Regardless of the goal of organising 60,000 factors throughout workplaces, residences, and public areas by 2040, Singapore continues to be methods away from with the ability to provide a dense nationwide charging community to ease a rider’s vary nervousness.

When evaluating charging occasions to easily dropping by the closest petrol station, the shortest charging time with an electric bike’s designated quick-charger is normally between 20 and 45 minutes, which places a damper in a rider’s touring itinerary.

Motorcycles are the selection mode of transport merely on account of its ease of travelling, with little to no ready time in visitors. But, 45 minutes is a long-time to spend at a cost level – virtually equal to being in a automotive throughout peak hour visitors. Mix each ready time and lack of charging factors, there’s certain to be snaking queues.

To deal with the problem of queues and longer ready occasions, LTA has deemed EV battery swapping attainable for motorcycles as of March 2022. This enables bike house owners to cut back the overall price of possession with an EV battery subscription mannequin, and it solely takes lower than 5 minutes for a battery swap, which is way sooner than a median gasoline cease.

energica eugene mah
Energica’s founder Eugene Mah charging the Energica EsseEasse+ / Picture Credit score: Energica

Regardless of its current inconvenience and doubtlessly excessive uptake price, Eugene Mah, Energica’s co-founder, speaks up on why electric motorcycles must be a long-term consideration. 

It’s mistaken to suppose {that a} excessive uptake price causes a low uptake fee. EV bikes could be competitively priced, nevertheless it simply so occurs that proper now, the one authorized ones are barely pricier because of the charging strategies.

The excessive price of EV is because of the battery. Batteries take up 70 to 80 % price of the bike. I’m assured in time, the fee will go down as know-how advances so there will probably be a degree the place costs change into much more affordable.

– Eugene Mah of Ifyni Pte Ltd Singapore, authorised distributer of Energica

Eugene Mah is one among Ifyni’s founders and the managing director of Mah Pte Ltd, the seller for standard bike manufacturers that embody Aprilia, Piggio, Vespa, and Triumph. Along with long-time driving buddy Randall Lee, they determined it was time to lastly introduce the primary two-wheel, high-performance EV in Singapore.

Ifyni — the authorised distributer of Italian producer Energica’s electric motorcycles — specialises in the EV enterprise, which incorporates two-and three-wheeler EV fleet gross sales, and doubtlessly EV vehicles in the longer term.

Upkeep at a minimal

The cons of proudly owning an electric bike does weigh on one’s shoulders, but in the long term, they might be cheaper.

Except for the excessive price of the battery, there’s little to no upkeep required for electric motorcycles. It’s manufactured to be easy and fuss-free, particularly helpful for these of us who need the comfort of driving with out the excessive maintenance.

Upkeep is low for an EV. There are considerably lesser transferring components than ICE, in order that reduces the variety of issues that fall underneath put on and tear. Battery and motor failure could occur, however possibilities are decrease, or the identical as a conventional ICE car failure.

– Eugene Mah of Ifyni Pte Ltd Singapore, authorised distributer of Energica

Maintenance check on an ICE motorcycle
Upkeep examine on an ICE bike oil filter / Picture Credit score: Monimoto

Mainly, there’s not a necessity to fret concerning the engine oil, spark plugs, air filters, timing belts, clutch, or the gearbox. Upkeep is saved to a minimal with concentrate on the electric motor and the battery, and routine security checks on the tyres, brake pads, and hydraulic fluid.

Electric motorcycles are additionally waterproof, conserving water out of its electric elements. Because the EV recognition grows, Singapore is working to make sure that there are personnel outfitted to take care of specialised EV upkeep.

General enhance in efficiency and security

Electric motorcycles even have the upper-hand over ICE motorcycles. Motorcycles are recognized for the adrenaline rush they supply the rider. But, to realize that, ICE engines take an extended time to achieve peak energy and ship most torque, with each components requiring the next RPM to achieve.

Alternatively, electric motorcycles attain its peak immediately at Zero RPM. This implies electric motorcycles keep a extra constant energy and acceleration all through the complete experience.

Its regenerative braking system additionally reduces the wear and tear of brake pads and rotors by taking the power used in the method of slowing right down to recharge the bike’s batteries.

ion mobility ev bikes tracking app
ION Mobility’s EV bikes outfitted with a monitoring app / Picture Credit score: ION Mobility

Just like EV vehicles, electric motorcycles are additionally extra technologically superior than gasoline bikes. Some bikes have an in-built superior collision warning system which makes use of radar, cameras, and non-visual sensors to trace the velocity, course, and velocity of transferring objects at 360-degrees across the bike.

Motorbike accidents are exceedingly widespread, therefore with the technological capabilities of an electric bike, it helps with rider consciousness and boosts their response time.

A number of bike manufacturers have additionally produced their very own cellular apps to extend a rider’s stage of connectivity. Riders will obtain security alerts and solutions on methods to keep away from them, they usually can even observe the electric bike through GPS monitoring on the rider’s cellular system in the occasion the bike is stolen.

Lastly, electric motorcycles are a lot simpler to function. There are no gears, therefore riders not need to shift gears at visitors lights or crowded streets. With out the necessity to take action, electric motorcycles have change into as simple to experience as a scooter.

Electric motorcycles a long-term plan

Electric motorcycles might need precedented even essentially the most trendy EV automotive, but it hasn’t been round lengthy sufficient to forge shopper belief. This outcomes in sellers balking on the threat of bringing in costly merchandise with unsure demand.

The low servicing necessities additionally current a risk to the standard income mannequin of sellers, who in flip need to search for compensatory new earnings streams.

“It’s a troublesome scenario,” Eugene explains. “With lesser put on and tear, your conventional brick and mortar outlets would undergo. The bike business in Singapore nonetheless closely depends on ICE to function. Nonetheless, factoring in Certificates of Entitlement (COE), lifespan, and price of conversion, ICE will nonetheless be round for a very long time for these outlets to proceed operations.”

Though main producers in the bike sector have not pushed laborious sufficient on the electrification agenda to provide rise to an ecosystem matching that of electric vehicles, it ought to nonetheless be thought of as a part of any avid rider’s long-term plan.

“I’ll by no means abandon my ICE bike — the sound creates a type of soul,” harassed Eugene. “Saying that, EV is such a pleasure to experience. what number of international locations have developed, I feel we’re behind. Proper now, we primarily see fleet or corporations proudly owning fleet that take up the EV bikes on account of their devoted depot or space the place stated EV automobiles can cost in a single day.”

James can be for going electric. “Fossil fuels ought to go the best way of the dinosaur – extinct,” he jokes.

“Our view is: local weather change is a fancy subject, and all of us must do our half to sort out it. We began ION with the view that transitioning some 600 million motorcycles in the direction of electric in SEA is our approach of contributing to a extra sustainable future for the generations to return.”

EV motorcycles are caught at its infancy stage in Singapore, perhaps even pre-infancy. We are able to solely hope that in time, authorities will present a type of incentive, revised security laws, and a greater developed swappable battery system for electric motorcycles.

With no concession or incentive for riders, the motivation continues to stay low for conversion.

Featured Picture Credit score: Energica through CarBuyer.com.sg


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