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Securing bank financing for scaling our EV fleet is hard in Philippines: Mober CEO

Mober CEO Dennis Ng

Mober, a green logistics company in the Philippines, recently raised US$6 million through a mix of equity and convertible notes, led by Singapore VC firm Clime Capital, to acquire 238 electric vehicle (EV) units by 2025 and develop a new charging yard in Pasay City.

The company is also advancing its technological capabilities by developing a battery management system (BMS) to enhance the efficiency and lifespan of its EVs.

In this interview, Mober CEO Dennis Ng shares the details of the expansion plans and how it implements workforce diversity.

Edited excerpts:

Mober has received a US$6 million investment from Clime Capital. How will this funding specifically enhance your operations, and what are the immediate priorities for utilising this capital?

The immediate priorities for utilising the US$6 million investment are to acquire more electric vehicles (EVs) and set up new charging yards equipped with 16 DC fast chargers. This will significantly enhance our operational capacity and efficiency, allowing us to serve our customers better and expand our market reach.

Also Read: Green logistics firm Mober secures US$6M to add new EVs to its fleet, develop new charging yard

In addition to the funds, Clime Capital will assist us with our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) objectives, making Mober a sustainability-proof company. With the VC firm’s help, we have engaged consultants like Ibis to set up its ESG framework. This partnership boosts our credibility and aligns our operations with global sustainability standards.

Mober is planning to expand its EV fleet to 238 units. What challenges do you foresee in scaling up your fleet, and how do you plan to address them?

The biggest challenge in scaling up our fleet is securing bank financing, as Philippine banks are still familiarising themselves with the EV logistics industry. We have discussed with the top banks and pitched Mober’s plans to mitigate this challenge. By educating financial institutions about the benefits and viability of EV logistics, we aim to secure the necessary financing.

You also mentioned developing a new 3,000 sqm charging facility by early 2025. Can you provide more details on this facility, such as its location, capacity, and expected impact on your operations?

The new 3,000 sqm charging facility is located on Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City, on a property owned by Social Security System (SSS), for which we recently tendered. We will install 16 DC fast chargers and build our Green Delivery Specialist (GDS) lounge and control tower.

This facility’s proximity to IKEA will enable us to serve our customers more efficiently, implement our GDS programme, and provide a subsidised canteen and a comfortable resting place for our drivers after a long work day.

Mober is enhancing its technological capabilities with a cutting-edge Battery Management System (BMS). How will this system improve the efficiency and lifespan of your electric vehicles, and what advancements do you expect from this technology?

With our real-time BMS, we can monitor the performance of our batteries and predict potential malfunctions. This data-driven approach allows us to maintain our EVs proactively, ensuring optimal performance and extending their lifespan.

Additionally, our control tower can track all our EVs’ state of charge (SOC) in real-time, improving our dispatching efficiency and overall operational reliability.

Mober will place pocket charging points across Luzon to support long-haul operations. How do you plan to implement this infrastructure and ensure its accessibility and reliability for your fleet?

We plan to start this project in Bicol by installing one DC fast charger every 150 kilometres. These chargers will be located at stopover places where our GDS can rest while charging their vehicles. By strategically placing these charging points, we ensure that our fleet has reliable access to charging infrastructure, supporting our long-haul operations effectively.

Mober sources its EVs directly from OEMs, tailoring each vehicle to specific operational requirements. Can you share more about your partnerships with these manufacturers and how customisation enhances Mober’s service delivery?

Our team visits prospective OEMs to test their EVs and discuss our specific operational requirements. We collaborate with OEMs to develop solutions that enhance our efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and service quality. By avoiding oversized batteries and tailoring vehicles to our delivery needs, we optimise our fleet’s performance and ensure that our service delivery meets the highest standards.

Mober claims it is committed to workforce diversity, including training female drivers and assemblers. How are these initiatives progressing, and what impact do you anticipate on the company’s culture and performance?

Also Read: Driving change: Mober’s journey towards sustainable green delivery

We have started training two lady drivers and two lady assemblers. The main challenge lies in recruitment. By promoting diversity, Mober proudly showcases these initiatives to our clients, hoping to influence them to adopt similar practices. This diversity not only enriches our company culture but also enhances our performance by bringing in diverse perspectives and skills.

Your GDSes are a unique aspect of your service. How do you recruit and train these specialists, and what role do they play in reinforcing Mober’s commitment to high service standards and sustainability?

We use a referral system, encouraging current GDS to invite other drivers they meet during deliveries. Prospective candidates can apply via a QR code leading to a mini-website.

Additionally, we organise job fairs, and before the year-end, Mober will host a National Truckers Day. This event will invite truck drivers, showcase EVs, and feature various activities. Before officially hiring, candidates undergo paid training to assess their driving skills. Our GDS are the face of our company, ensuring that our customers have a superb shopping experience. Their role is crucial in upholding Mober’s commitment to high service standards and sustainability.

How does Mober plan to scale its operations sustainably, and what long-term impacts do you foresee on the Philippines’ logistics industry and environmental footprint?

Mober is rapidly growing and designing our charging stations to accommodate other EV trucks in the future. We plan to empower small mom-and-pop transport companies to transition to EVs by renting out our EVs and providing access to our charging infrastructure. This initiative will not only help these companies grow but also significantly reduce the environmental footprint of the logistics industry in the Philippines.

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