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What is Driving the Surge of E-scooters in Asia?

( 09/28/2021 ) Written by: Anup Deshmukh

With the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) around the world showing no sign of slowing, electric or e-scooters (both two- and three-wheelers) are at the forefront. Across Asia, three-wheelers, particularly e-rickshaws, are leading the way. Currently, e-rickshaws comprise a whopping 83 percent of the India electric market with more than an estimated 1.5 million (15 lakh) on its streets. 

What is driving this growth? 

According to Research and Markets, the need for cost-effective public transportation in Indian cities has always been high. E-scooters are lightweight, carbon-efficient and can maneuver easily through congested traffic. With EV technology becoming more affordable, e-scooters are now significantly cheaper to ride than other modes of transportation—and the up-front and operational costs for owners are greatly reduced. 

In addition, Asian countries are looking at ways to reduce pollution and greenhouse gasses in congested cities. Research by Meticulous Research points to these rising environmental concerns as well as micromobility (the use of e-scooters and bikes to travel short distances) as the driving forces behind the growth. According to the report, this year the Asia-Pacific region is expected to account for the largest share of the global electric scooter market.  

Report Linker, in a recently published report, stated that various retail, logistic and courier companies have begun using electric three-wheelers for “last-mile load delivery.” Most Southeast Asian countries have seen the use of last-mile deliveries expand significantly in recent years. It is anticipated that adoption of these load-carrying three-wheelers will continue to grow “exponentially.” 

Furthermore, favorable government policies are propelling growth. In Bangladesh, for example, the government is rolling out policies designed to increase market penetration of EVs.

The Challenge

According to Report Linker, the number of Asia Pacific electric three-wheelers is estimated at 156,397 in 2021 and is projected to grow to 486,446 by 2026. To meet this explosive growth in e-scooter adoption, battery optimization is crucial. Improving battery technology has a direct bearing on an e-scooter’s driving range and must be optimized to meet the expanding e-scooters market.

A crucial element of battery pack design is the effective management of heat generated during the battery’s charge and discharge cycles. Battery manufacturers use thermal interface materials (TIMs) to displace the air and fill in the gaps between the battery pack and its cooling plates. These substrates have microscopic peaks and valleys that create roughness, entrap air and prevent ideal contact. Cutting-edge technology uses liquid-dispense, cure-in-place gap fillers for thermal management. E-scooter designs that support the use of gap fillers and potting materials can contribute to battery health—which translates into improved battery lifespan and in-service performance. These materials also play a key role in the performance and longevity of motors and on-board chargers for two and three wheelers.

The e-scooter phenomenon in Asia is shining a light on the benefits of EVs, particularly two- and three-wheelers, and positioning these EVs for greater worldwide adoption. Our team is delivering innovative solutions for electric transportation around the world. Please contact us to find out how our potting materials, gap fillers and other thermal management materials can benefit your EV design and enable EV market growth.

Anup Deshmukh

Anup joined Parker LORD in 2008 as Sales Manager, India. He has held roles of increased leadership responsibility including Head of Marketing & Sales LORD India, General Manager of India and Thailand, General Manager EPM China, Global Key Account Management, Asia Pacific EPM Growth Initiative Leader, and most recently, as Regional Director India and Southeast Asia for Parker LORD. Anup has a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, and has completed graduate studies in Marketing from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, and Business Administration from ICFAI University.

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