EESL to invest $5mn in Thai EV manufacturer

EESL has invested in SWAG EV, an emerging e-mobility player in Southeast Asia. (Pic: Southpole.com)

New Delhi (NVI): As the world moves towards e-mobility to reduce transport-related carbon dioxide emissions, India’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has announced that it will invest in SWAG EV, an emerging e-mobility player in Thailand to drive the use of electric motorbikes while contributing to increasing power grid flexibility.

EESL, under the purview of Ministry of Power, has been at the forefront of India’s journey towards energy efficiency and electric mobility.

EESL’s investment in Thailand’s leading Electric Vehicles manufacturer is driven by the concept of convergence -the integration of electric mobility, battery storage, renewable energy generation and carbon finance, which has the power to provide clean, reliable and affordable energy, and catalyse an energy transformation in Southeast Asia, the EESL said in a statement.

With this, the drivers of the 21 million motorbikes in Thailand – the main form of transportation in most cities and a leading cause of transport-related carbon dioxide emissions – now have a new role to play in the fight against climate change.

By using e-bikes with swappable batteries, most of which will be charged by solar power, they can drive the transformation to healthier cities while fighting climate change. ‘Batteries on wheels’ create an overlap between e-mobility, solar energy battery storage and a more flexible power grid.

The e-bike batteries will increase the capacity of the power grid to incorporate a higher share of renewable energy in its energy mix and trigger decarbonization in Thailand. This concept is replicable across the world and this project will serve as the basis for implementation in India, EESL said in a release.

EESL is a pioneer in driving the concept of convergence in its key markets – India and Southeast Asia. As one of the world’s largest public energy service companies, owned by the largest public sector enterprise in the Indian power sector, EESL has invested in SWAG EV, an emerging actor ushering in the two-wheeled e-mobility transformation in Southeast Asia.

EESL’s initial US$5 million investment was conceptualized by SHIFT Asia, a carbon finance platform designed and operated by South Pole to mobilize climate finance for e-mobility. In addition to its investment, SHIFT Asia will co-fund the e-bike charging infrastructure in designated service areas and support EESL in financing shared batteries; all to make battery swapping and charging simple and convenient.

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

Charging stations located in factories with solar roofs will also be able to store and release surplus solar power. This system helps Thai utility companies increase the flexibility of the power grid, both in terms of managing variable renewable energy generation and reducing the load on the grid during peak hours.

Saurabh Kumar, Executive Vice Chairperson of EESL Group Companies said: “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 coming generations. 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 said: “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.”

-ARK