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Transitioning from Fuel to Charge: Collaborative Experiment with Selex Motors on Green Mobility in Viet Nam’s Last-Mile Delivery

Transitioning from Fuel to Charge: Collaborative Experiment with Selex Motors on Green Mobility in Viet Nam’s Last-Mile Delivery

The shift towards green and sustainable transportation is not just a passing trend; it’s a vital element in mitigating the impacts of climate change and safeguarding the environment. It’s not only a national priority but a global imperative.

In a collaborative effort, Selex Motors, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Thua Thien Hue province have initiated a pilot project introducing electric motorcycles in the city of Hue. The project aims to evaluate the potential of electric motorcycles as a sustainable transportation choice, comparing them with traditional gasoline-powered motorcycles.

This trial specifically targets individuals who transport goods using motorcycles, recognizing their pivotal role in the urban transportation network. By delving into the needs, preferences, and behaviors of these goods transporters, the experiment seeks to encourage a shift from gasoline to electric vehicles. The ultimate goal is to formulate supportive policies, promote the greening of urban areas, and foster sustainable development.

1. UNDP and Thua Thien Hue province chose to collaborate with Selex Motors and introduce electric motorcycles into the delivery sector for several reasons.

The transportation industry in Vietnam has significantly contributed to global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2016, it accounted for more than one-fifth of the country’s total emissions. Estimates suggest that Vietnam has around 60 million gasoline-powered motorcycles emitting 42 million tons of CO2 annually.

While the government has implemented measures to promote electric vehicles, such as reducing registration fees and consumption taxes for lithium-ion batteries, these measures are insufficient to incentivize users to switch from gasoline to electric vehicles. This is especially true in the delivery sector, where motorcycles are the most common vehicles used for last-mile delivery.

Facing challenges related to air pollution and rising fuel costs, Selex Motors, a pioneering Vietnamese company, has developed an optimized electric motorcycle ecosystem for transportation, consisting of four main components:

  1. Smart electric motorcycles
  2. Automatic battery swapping stations
  3. High-compatibility batteries
  4. IoT-based management platform.
Selex Motors - The first and most optimal electric mobility ecosystem for last mile transport in Southeast Asia
Selex Motors – The first and most optimal electric mobility ecosystem for last mile transport in Southeast Asia

The unique battery swapping solution sets Selex Motors apart from its competitors. Instead of waiting 3-8 hours for a recharge, customers can swap out depleted batteries for fully charged ones at a station in just 2 minutes. This quick and simple process enhances the practicality and efficiency of electric motorcycles for transportation purposes.

Since May 2023, the collaboration between Selex Motors and Viettel Post, supported by the People’s Committee of Thua Thien Hue province and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has yielded positive results.

Viettel Post’s driver team was divided into two groups: one using gasoline-powered motorcycles and the other using electric motorcycles provided by Selex Motors. The results showed that the group using electric motorcycles achieved, on average, over 50% higher delivery efficiency compared to the gasoline-powered group, measured by the number of items delivered per trip. Throughout the one-month trial period, the average income of drivers in the electric motorcycle group was over 34% higher than that of the gasoline motorcycle group.

The electric motorcycle Selex Camel for delivery.
The electric motorcycle Selex Camel for delivery.

Moreover, Selex Motors has recently collaborated with well-known delivery services in Vietnam, such as integrating GrabExpress into their green transportation model. The positive feedback from other drivers is solid evidence that Selex Motors’ electric motorcycles have gained trust among users.

2. Objective of the Experiment

The experiment revolves around two research questions: “Does the use of electric motorcycles enhance economic benefits for transporters?” and “Does adopting a green lifestyle contribute value for both transporters and customers?”

The experiment aims to determine whether the application of electric motorcycles genuinely leads to economic benefits for transporters and whether the green image associated with these vehicles interacts positively with both transporters and their customers.

3. Experiment and Results

Before designing the experiment, the research team conducted direct interviews with delivery and passenger transporters to confirm assumptions related to the barriers transporters face when transitioning from gasoline to electric motorcycles.

These confirmations served as input for a workshop where transporters and policy officials from various departments in Thua Thien Hue gathered to determine the experiment steps and interventions to address the two research questions.

Subsequently, a baseline assessment was conducted, focusing on 63 transporters to inquire about and understand their concerns and challenges. With rising fuel costs, high maintenance expenses, air and noise pollution issues, along with concerns about charging infrastructure, the transition to electric motorcycles becomes complex and challenging.

Source: UNDP
Source: UNDP

The experiment was conducted over a 30-day period, involving two groups of professional transporters: one group continued to use gasoline-powered motorcycles, while the other group tested Selex Camel electric motorcycles (part of the Selex Motors transportation ecosystem).

A standout feature of Selex is the battery-swapping stations, allowing users to replace their electric motorcycle batteries in just 2 minutes instead of waiting for a 3-8 hour charge. Additionally, users are provided with a comprehensive ecosystem management platform, including station location, vehicle tracking, and finding the nearest station.

The experiment yielded impressive results for the participating drivers. Electric motorcycles proved not only cost-effective but also contributed to building a green image for transporters.

In addition to economic benefits, drivers shared that they felt proud to contribute to the green image of Hue city. Le Duc Tai, a delivery driver serving foreign tourists, expressed:

“I noticed that environmental protection was important to the foreign visitors. They appreciated my eco-friendly electric motorbikes when I delivered goods to them. They were very kind and hospitable”. 

“Switching to electric vehicles also brings unexpected social benefits – the dogs along the delivery route become quieter without the noisy sounds from engines,” said Ho Anh Tuan, a transporter.

4. Learning and Collaboration

One of the significant outcomes of the experiment is the importance of multi-stakeholder engagement in the transition process. The success of this experiment stems from the close collaboration of various stakeholders, each playing a distinct role.

The drivers use Selex Camel electric motorcycles for delivery in Hue province.
The drivers use Selex Camel electric motorcycles for delivery in Hue province.

While UNDP provided technical guidance for the evidence-based experiment and local innovation funds, local organizations such as the Hue Institute for Development Studies (IDS) and Selex Motors, a pioneering electric motorcycle ecosystem company in Vietnam, contributed in-depth knowledge and crucial resources.

This collaborative model facilitated a robust, rapid deployment, emphasizing the importance of transitioning to a green transportation model, aiming for a green Hue.


References: 

1. ADB project TA-9055 VIE: each gasoline motorbike emits 66g CO2 per kilometers. One motorbike travels in average from 15km to 30km per day that can emit 0,36 to 0,73 tons of CO2 per year.

2. https://congan.hanoi.gov.vn//Portals/0/Cache/tuyen truyen/10-nd-2022-signed.pdf

3. https://datafiles.chinhphu.vn/cpp/files/vbpq/2022/07/03-2022-qh15..pdf
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With sincere thanks to Cung Trong Cuong and his Hue IDS team, as well as Nguyen Tuan Luong, UNDP Head of Solution Mapping, for their support throughout the implementation of this policy experiment. We highly appreciate Nguyen Viet Lan, UNDP Communications Lead, Do Le Thu Ngoc, Head of Inclusive Growth Unit for their insightful feedback, which has contributed to the completion of this blog.

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With a new scooter, customers will receive warranty coverage and replacement of parts according to the manufacturer’s policy, if the warranty period is still valid. The standard warranty period for Selex Motors’ electric scooters and batteries is 30,000 km from the retail sale date to the customer or 3 years from the wholesale invoice date to the authorized dealer, whichever comes first.

Selex’s electric scooters come with a charger that you can use to charge the battery at home, but the battery is not included. You can purchase or rent a battery separately.

You will receive the product within approximately 2 weeks from the date of placing the order, but the actual delivery time may vary depending on demand.

You can register for the battery rental service here, or contact Selex via the hotline at 0977209980, or through our Facebook page, website, or app. Our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

The installment payment policy is being prepared and will be applied as soon as possible.

The electric motorcycles from Selex will be serviced every 6 months (5000km) per time.

In some cases of unexpected incidents that prevent customers from bringing their Selex electric scooter to the Selex service center, customers only need to contact our hotline and our staff will provide enthusiastic advice and support anytime, anywhere.

Contact information:
• 24/7 rescue team: 097 720 99 80

You can download the Selex Motors app here. Then follow these steps:
Step 1: Log in to your account with your username and password
Step 2: In the navigation bar, select Selex Station
Step 3: View the map. At your current location, the map will show the nearby stations. Alternatively, you can view the station system in other districts.

Yes, you can contact Selex to change your service package for battery swapping while renting the battery.

1. Just replace the battery at Selex’s replacement station, and it only takes you 2 minutes to fully charge your electric scooter.
2. If you charge at home, it will take 5-8 hours.

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