Vietnam takes lead as electric motorcycle development hub in Southeast Asia

Pride of Vietnam: VinFast Theon, Dat Bike Weaver

Vietnam, a country which has developed a remarkable startup scene in a number of industries in recent years, is seemingly also becoming an innovative hub for green transportation, in this case for electric motorbikes, thanks to so far two progressive companies.

The country’s homegrown car maker VinFast has been much lauded for the development of a brand line of electric scooters called “Klara,” whose first model range was launched in 2018. At that time, the unibody scooter, design-wise reminiscent of Italy’s legendary Vespa, had a travel range up to 90 kilometers per charge with a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour and was already equipped with onboard GPS and Bluetooth.

Meanwhile, VinFast’s electric scooter range has been expanded to five vehicles by 2022, with the elegantly designed Theon S – the fastest and most powerful model – able to travel up to 150 kilometers per charge at a top speed close to 100 kilometers per hour.

All five bikes are now equipped with smart connectivity to an e-scooter application on the riders phone. In Vietnam, they go for sale between 22 million ($958) and 69.9 million dong ($3,044).

Start-up competition

Meanwhile, VinFast is facing competition from another electric motorbike maker, Dat Bike. Though much smaller, the Ho Chi Minh City-based company, founded in 2019, aims at nothing less than driving the mass adoption of green transportation in Southeast Asia and convert around 250 million gasoline motorbikes in the region to electric.

Dat Bike is targeting a more fashion-forward crowd with its retro-design Weaver model series, the first of which was launched in 2019 and was capable of a travel distance on 100 kilometers with one charge at a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hours. The latest model, Weaver 200, is even more powerful and reaches out 200 kilometers with one charge at a speed of up to 90 kilometers per hour. It is sold for 54.9 million dong ($2,391).

What makes the vehicles attractive are their fast charging times and comparably competitive prices, as well as their sporty design, accompanied by a fast acceleration atypical for battery-powered motorbikes, the company says.

Funding by Singapore venture capital firms

Dat Bike is backed by founding investor Wavemaker Partners, a Singapore-based venture capital firm, and has just earlier this April announced a $5.3-million fund raise from Jungle Ventures, also based in Singapore, bringing the total funds raised since establishment of the company to $10 million.

The bike maker will use the cash inflow to expand domestically to cities across north, central and south Vietnam and hire top talent. It opened a new store in Hanoi this month and will open another one in Da Nang soon. Populous Indonesia will be its next market in Southeast Asia in the next two to three years, it said.



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[caption id="attachment_38426" align="alignleft" width="300"] Pride of Vietnam: VinFast Theon, Dat Bike Weaver[/caption] Vietnam, a country which has developed a remarkable startup scene in a number of industries in recent years, is seemingly also becoming an innovative hub for green transportation, in this case for electric motorbikes, thanks to so far two progressive companies. The country’s homegrown car maker VinFast has been much lauded for the development of a brand line of electric scooters called “Klara,” whose first model range was launched in 2018. At that time, the unibody scooter, design-wise reminiscent of Italy’s legendary Vespa, had a travel range up...

Pride of Vietnam: VinFast Theon, Dat Bike Weaver

Vietnam, a country which has developed a remarkable startup scene in a number of industries in recent years, is seemingly also becoming an innovative hub for green transportation, in this case for electric motorbikes, thanks to so far two progressive companies.

The country’s homegrown car maker VinFast has been much lauded for the development of a brand line of electric scooters called “Klara,” whose first model range was launched in 2018. At that time, the unibody scooter, design-wise reminiscent of Italy’s legendary Vespa, had a travel range up to 90 kilometers per charge with a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour and was already equipped with onboard GPS and Bluetooth.

Meanwhile, VinFast’s electric scooter range has been expanded to five vehicles by 2022, with the elegantly designed Theon S – the fastest and most powerful model – able to travel up to 150 kilometers per charge at a top speed close to 100 kilometers per hour.

All five bikes are now equipped with smart connectivity to an e-scooter application on the riders phone. In Vietnam, they go for sale between 22 million ($958) and 69.9 million dong ($3,044).

Start-up competition

Meanwhile, VinFast is facing competition from another electric motorbike maker, Dat Bike. Though much smaller, the Ho Chi Minh City-based company, founded in 2019, aims at nothing less than driving the mass adoption of green transportation in Southeast Asia and convert around 250 million gasoline motorbikes in the region to electric.

Dat Bike is targeting a more fashion-forward crowd with its retro-design Weaver model series, the first of which was launched in 2019 and was capable of a travel distance on 100 kilometers with one charge at a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hours. The latest model, Weaver 200, is even more powerful and reaches out 200 kilometers with one charge at a speed of up to 90 kilometers per hour. It is sold for 54.9 million dong ($2,391).

What makes the vehicles attractive are their fast charging times and comparably competitive prices, as well as their sporty design, accompanied by a fast acceleration atypical for battery-powered motorbikes, the company says.

Funding by Singapore venture capital firms

Dat Bike is backed by founding investor Wavemaker Partners, a Singapore-based venture capital firm, and has just earlier this April announced a $5.3-million fund raise from Jungle Ventures, also based in Singapore, bringing the total funds raised since establishment of the company to $10 million.

The bike maker will use the cash inflow to expand domestically to cities across north, central and south Vietnam and hire top talent. It opened a new store in Hanoi this month and will open another one in Da Nang soon. Populous Indonesia will be its next market in Southeast Asia in the next two to three years, it said.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

 

 

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