Niu Technologies (NASDAQ: NIU), the US-listed electric scooter company, has been in talks with Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Gojek, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing Niu’s CEO Li Yan.
Changzhou-based Niu manufactures lithium battery-powered two-wheelers—scooters and motorcycles—and it largely focuses on the domestic market, where 95% of its sales are generated. Leveraging on the forthcoming collaboration with Gojek, Niu expects to expand its business outside of China. It has sent scooters to Gojek for testing, according to the Reuters report.
“We definitely want to grab market share globally,” Li, CEO of the six-year-old Niu Technologies said in an interview with the news agency. “But this depends on further drops in the cost of battery cells, which is helped by the scaling up of electric vehicles.” Gojek declined to comment when contacted by KrASIA.
Founded in 2014, Niu went public in October 2018 after raising USD 63 million in its initial public offering by selling 7 million American depositary shares at USD 9. Its stock closed at USD 45.5 per share on Monday, with a market cap of USD 3.4 billion. In 2020, Niu sold approximately 600,892 e-scooters globally, representing a 42.6% year-over-year growth, with China contributing more than 95%. In the third quarter of 2020, Niu had revenues of 894.5 million, an increase of 36.7% year-on-year, with a gross margin of 20.9%.
At the end of September, the firm owned 1,266 franchised stores in China, while its international sales network expanded to 36 distributors covering 46 countries, according to its third-quarter earnings report. It opened its first Indonesian flagship store in Jakarta in August.
Gojek is planning to test electric motorcycles in Indonesia this year as part of its “GoGreener” commitments. It works with the state-owned gas and oil company Pertamina for the commercial pilot in Greater Jakarta. At a press conference in January, Gojek chief transport officer Raditya Wibowo told local media that the firm conducts trials for two-wheelers because of its lower costs.
Consumers are ready to switch
Motorcycles are a heavy contributor to the air pollution in the region, so that energy efficiency has become a necessity. Electric vehicles (EV) are hailed as a solution for the problem. One in three Southeast Asian consumers is willing to switch to an EV, according to “The Future of Electrified Vehicles in Southeast Asia” presented by Frost & Sullivan.
The study said that 66% of consumers believe they will eventually adopt electrified mobility as part of their lives in the near future. It mainly refers to electric cars, but considering that motorbikes are a popular transportation mode in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, electric motorcycles seem to have the significant potential in the region.
Niu is doubling down and will have an annual manufacturing capacity of more than 2 million scooters from around April this year, up from the current 1 million, according to the CEO.