The state-run Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) has announced an initial investment of $5 million (Rs 37 crore) in Thailand-based electric two-wheeler maker SWAG EV. The move is said to promote the concept of convergence – bringing together electric mobility, renewable energy and carbon finance to catalyse energy transformation in Southeast Asia.
SWAG EV says, by using e-bikes with swappable batteries, most of which will be charged by solar power, they could drive the transformation to healthier cities while fighting climate change. Batteries on wheels create an overlap between e-mobility, solar energy storage and a more flexible power grid. The accelerating demand for climate-friendly e-bikes will drastically increase the capacity of the power grid to handle a higher share of renewable energy and trigger decarbonisation in Thailand. The EV maker says, the concept is replicable across the world and this project will serve as the basis for implementation in India.
EESL’s initial $5 million (Rs 37 crore) investment was conceptualised by SHIFT Asia, a carbon finance-platform designed and operated by South Pole to mobilise climate finance for e-mobility. In addition to its investment, SHIFT will co-fund the e-bike charging infrastructure in designated service areas to make battery swapping and charging simple and convenient.
A major mid-term outcome of the SHIFT program is to use these batteries in their second life as a distributed renewable energy storage facility, providing the Thailand energy grid with the flexibility to manage a higher share of variable renewable energy. They will be charged during the day with surplus solar power (when electricity demand is too low), and discharged during the evening power peak, when there is more demand than supply of electricity.