EESL Invests $5 Mn in Thailand’s SWAG EV to Catalyze Energy Transformation in SE Asia

State-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) has revealed that it has invested in SWAG EV, an emerging e-mobility player to drive the use of electric motorbikes while contributing to increasing power grid flexibility.

October 23, 2020. By Manu Tayal

State-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) has revealed that it has invested in SWAG EV, an emerging e-mobility player to drive the use of electric motorbikes while contributing to increasing power grid flexibility. This concept of convergence - the integration of electric mobility, battery storage, renewable energy generation and carbon finance - has the power to provide clean, reliable and affordable energy, and catalyse an energy transformation in Southeast Asia.

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’s initial USD 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.

Additionally, 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.

Commenting on the development, 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.”

“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,” said Janson Chen, Executive Director, SWAG EV.

Ingo Puhl, co-founder and Managing Director Thailand, South Pole, said “we are excited to be part of these pilot projects, which test the convergence concept of shared batteries, climate finance and renewable energy, and have the potential to transform transportation across Asia where motorcycles are widely used. It also has the possibility of massively reducing emissions as a valuable side-effect.”

“It has been wonderful to bring South Pole, EESL and SWAG together to develop energy concepts of the future, and I am so pleased to see South Pole and EESL take on such a leadership role in driving the renewable energy transformation across South and Southeast Asia,” said Mahua Acharya, Member of the Board of Directors at South Pole.

Going forward, SWAG will implement a number of pilot projects with its partners to test the use and acceptance of shared batteries as a service model, and integrate its operation with the digital data reporting and management systems that are required to originate and monetize carbon credits via the SHIFT Platform.

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