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Thailand energy group PTT to make e-motorbikes with Taiwan’s Kymco

Written by Nikkei Asia Published on   2 mins read

The state-owned company eyes Southeast Asia, world’s third-largest bike market.

Thai state-owned oil and gas group PTT will start making and selling electric motorcycles this year, hoping to bank on Southeast Asia’s rapidly electrifying two-wheeler market, the world’s largest after China and India.

Arun Plus, PTT’s subsidiary in charge of making electric vehicles and batteries, will establish a joint venture with Kymco, Taiwan’s leading two-wheeler manufacturer, by the end of this year, according to PTT documents submitted to the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The new company, called Aionex, is capitalized at THB 600 million (USD 17 million). Arun Plus plans to hold a 51% stake.

Aionex will not only produce and sell e-bikes under the Kymco brand but also operate battery-swapping services for such motorcycles. PTT has already entered the electric motorcycle rental business in Thailand through its subsidiary but has mainly procured the bikes from a Chinese startup it invests in.

The new venture will utilize the know-how of Kymco and start producing bikes at full scale. Locations for the plant are believed to be under consideration in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.

Arun Plus is also working on EV battery production, such as partnering with Chinese battery giant CATL to open a factory in Thailand. Such initiatives will also be utilized in Aionex’s motorcycle production.

Southeast Asia’s motorcycle market reached 10.6 million units in 2022, making it the world’s third-largest, following China (15.5 million units) and India (12.6 million units), according to German research firm Statista. In Indonesia, which accounts for about half of the regional market, the government is actively encouraging the spread of electric motorcycles.

This article first appeared on Nikkei Asia. It has been republished here as part of 36Kr’s ongoing partnership with Nikkei.


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