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Greener rides, faster service: How swappable battery e-bikes are revolutionising SEA

At IVITECH.Drive, we work directly with South Eastern Asian drivers. We provide them with new, safe and eco-friendly electro bikes so they can maintain their work in ride-hailing and public transportation across the country. Of course, before we entered the markets, we were analysing which type of e-bikes would fit. While it was clear that the bikes should run on electricity, there were many gaps to research regarding other issues. 

But first, why e-bikes?

Let’s start with the maintenance. Even though the starting price of e-bike might be the same or even higher, they are much cheaper to own. Electricity costs less than gas, which is getting more expensive all the time. 

Second advantage is the lower risk of breaking its parts due the simplicity of construction. Here we come to the third advantage – simple construction means simple controls. 

But the main thing is the ecology. Of course, electric bikes are way more eco-friendly than the fuel ones. And that’s why the government of Indonesia wants to get up to 2.5 million e-bike drivers by 2025. 

Also, e-bikes are known for saving time. Charging or replacing the battery takes less time than refuelling. 

Is there any practical difference between bikes with swappable and rechargeable batteries? 

Well, it’s the way you charge your bike. Having a swappable battery means that you can insert a new one when the old one is dead. It’s fast, simple and easy. 

Also Read: Electrifying Southeast Asia: Unleashing the radical potential of electric vehicles

Rechargeable batteries have to be recharged. It means you have to come to the charging station once your battery is close to death. 

The main advantage of rechargeable batteries lies in their capacity, which is bigger compared to swappable batteries.

Swappable batteries should be recharged, too – but you don’t have to wait for it. You just come to a station, take out the drained battery and insert a new one – it is a matter of minutes. 

What is greener 

Even though both versions of bikes are considered to be eco-friendly, bikes with swappable batteries happen to be greener. 

The reason is the mechanics that the batteries are built on. The health of the battery drains with every single cycle, and you will still have to change it when the time comes. All built-in bike batteries are using the fast charging method (because with usual charging it would take way more time to get to 100 per cent), which is damaging them and reduces the capacity. 

Damaged and drained batteries can no longer be used, and produce a lot of non-recyclable waste. When it comes to a swappable battery, the amount of cycles that it goes through is much less, so its health remains at good rates for a longer time. 

What about the infrastructure? 

Another reason why we decided to provide our Indonesian drivers with swappable batteries is the simplicity of infrastructure implementation. Charging stations are more expensive to build, while it doesn’t take many resources to open spots for battery replacement. Yes, the government and SMEs are investing in developing electric transportation, which includes building charging stations, but it takes time while swapping is available now. 

Fast charging infrastructure is more expensive and takes longer to be built. Given the environmental situation we are in – particularly in Indonesia – there is not a moment to lose in switching to environmentally friendly transportation. 

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Image credit: drobotdean on Freepik

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