As electric vehicles (EVs) become a prominent force in Southeast Asia’s automotive industry, Vietnam may be one of the markets that two-wheelers will most define.
Despite VinFast’s ambitious plans to break into the US market, it will be the manufacturer’s e-scooter arm and Đạt Bike that will have the most impact on Vietnam’s EV landscape, according to analysis by Vietnam News.
That’s because Vietnam has a domestic market of roughly 50 million motorbikes, and people need an equivalent to a petrol-powered bike in an attractive two-wheeler.
Vietnam has been dependent on petrol vehicles for many years, so companies like VinFast and Đạt Bike will have to work hard to convince consumers to switch to electric, Vietnam News added.
The good news is that rising petrol prices and increasing environmental concerns are now boosting demand for electric scooters.
“We have seen that consumers are becoming more interested in electric bikes, with big companies also gradually researching to switch partially or completely to producing electric bikes,” said Đạt Bike CEO Nguyễn Sơn.
“Public awareness has also seen positive improvements as the trend to switch to electric vehicles is becoming more popular. Especially after petrol prices surged recently, electric vehicles are considered an optimal choice for many families,” he added,” Lê Hoàng Long, Deputy Chief General Manager of E-Scooter Business Operations at VinFast.
Nguyễn said, however, that there is still a lack of strong electric bikes that can meet the needs of daily commuters, which is holding back the growth of the electric bike market in Vietnam.
Despite this, he remains confident that electric bikes will eventually dominate the market, thanks to Vietnam’s overall efforts to promote sustainable development.
“After Việt Nam attended the COP26 conference and pledged to reduce emissions to zero by 2050, the electric vehicle market and the electric scooter market experienced strong growth,” said Long.
EV manufacturers in the country have been launching new models with improved technology, quality, and design, to appeal to a broader range of users.
“The biggest challenge of electric bikes today is to change that prejudice of customers, persuade them to choose electric vehicles instead of petrol ones to contribute to the common goal of protecting the environment and improving the quality of people’s lives,” Long said.
Elsewhere in the region, the electric bike market is expected to grow rapidly in Indonesia, where Gogoro has launched a new battery-swapping system that it says will make EVs more convenient and affordable.
The company has also partnered with the Indonesian government to promote the use of electric bikes and is working with leading manufacturers to bring its technology to a wider range of products.
In Thailand, meanwhile, the government conducted a trial run of electric motorcycle taxis in Bangkok, intending to eventually replace gas-powered bikes entirely. The trial could have significant implications not just for Bangkok but for scooter and motorcycle-laden cities across much of Asia.