Singapore-based smart electric motorbike and energy storage solutions startup ION Mobility unveiled yesterday (December 2) its very first electric motorbike.
Called the ION Mobius, the electric vehicle (EV) was conceptualised, designed, and assembled in Singapore over the span of 18 months.
Dr Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, graced the unveiling event at JTC LaunchPad @ One-North as the Guest-of-Honour.
At the event, Minister Tan congratulated ION Mobility on its achievements that it has accomplished over the past two years.
Despite the challenging Covid-19 pandemic, the company has managed to complete two fundraising rounds, assemble a senior leadership team, and expand its operations to three countries.
Back in October, the company announced that it has raised a total of US$6.8 million in a seed round.
“I am also happy to note that ION Mobility is now ready to launch a small-batch manufacturing line in Singapore, and there are plans to scale up to a monthly output of 500 electric motorbikes and battery packs,” he said.
He deems these as important milestones not just for the company, but the local automotive manufacturing industry as whole.
He further described the launch of ION Mobius as timely and significant, considering that Singapore is moving towards electrifying its vehicle population by 2040.
“ION Mobility has not only integrated IoT technologies in its ION Mobius design to create tech-enabled features for greater user experience, the innovative proprietary battery pack and engine design also allows it to achieve longer range and top speed, comparable to conventional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles,” he added.
Why ION Mobility entered the electric motorbike space
“We started ION Mobility in late 2019, as we saw the lack of a viable electric mobility brand and solution for Southeast Asia (SEA). We were quickly drawn to the immense potential of Indonesia and the rest of our region’s industrial supply chain, and were convinced of what we could deliver to hasten consumer’s inevitable transition towards electric motorbikes in the coming years,” said James Chan, founder and CEO of ION Mobility.
“With over 200 million motorbikes across SEA — 112 million in Indonesia, 50 million in Vietnam, 22 million in Thailand, and 14 million in Malaysia — our region is home to the third largest motorbike population in the world. It is truly the land of the ubiquitous motorbike.”
Unfortunately, motorbike pollution is a huge issue. According to a 2006 research, they emit 16 times more hydrocarbons, three times more carbon monoxide and a “disproportionately high” amount of other air pollutants compared to passenger cars.
More recent research has shown 40 to 60 percent reductions to reduce the emissions when regulatory compliance is increased.
“But given that, we cannot forget that most motorbikes are actually old motorbikes sold in Indonesia. 112 million sold in Indonesia, compared to 6.5 million during the pre-pandemic that was sold every year. There’s a huge disparity we can still have an impact on,” pointed out James.
The widespread use of petrol-powered internal combustion engine motorbikes continues to put a burden on urban air quality and the environment, which makes electric motorbikes a much more attractive alternative.
After conducting extensive market research in its target markets, ION Mobility found that there are no other compelling options for riders in SEA to switch from their traditional combustion motorbikes.
Existing electric motorbikes are often short-ranged and low-powered, too expensive, or not suited for daily use in terms of form factors. As such, ION Mobility wants to help ease customers’ transition to electric mobility.
We set out to create something desirable and compelling to urban motorbike riders, starting from Indonesia, that has one of the highest number of motorbike users in SEA.
We intend to transform the end-to-end product and customer experience for motorbike riders with an ideal price position.
– James Chan, founder and CEO of ION Mobility
He added that ION Mobility is now pushing the frontiers of the region’s automotive industry as a “hard tech” and “full-stack” company.
It owns the entire process from design to engineering, production and marketing, sales and aftersales as an Original Equipment Manufacturer OEM), and across hardware, firmware, software and services, so as to deliver a clean alternative for motorbike riders.
In doing so, it hopes to alleviate urban pollution and lead the transition to EVs across SEA, starting with their motorbike.
Meet the ION Mobius
The ION Mobius is built with the latest technology in powertrain, battery and vehicle control systems.
The electric motor scales up to a peak power of 12.5kW and maximum torque of 50Nm. It also has a top speed of up to 110km/h and accelerates from 0 to 50km/h in under four seconds.
“You can get the instant toque with the purr of an electric motor, and zero emissions,” said Wu Xianyi, chief product and design officer at ION Mobility.
“The key idea for us when designing the Mobius was to convey a sense of both sleekness and strength, while keeping it nimble and zippy, perfect for the urban commute.”
Additionally, one of the team’s goals in designing the Mobius is to help users overcome the dreaded range anxiety.
The ION Mobius comes with three different riding modes, allowing users to hit anywhere from 120km to over 200km on a single charge, depending on their riding style.
Apart from the electric motor and battery pack, the bike is also fitted with a vehicle computer that’s paired with a high-fidelity and super bright seven-inch TFT display.
“This vehicle control unit is the ‘brains’ of the motorbike. It allows the bike to directly connect to the Internet over LTE, as well as pair with your phone via Bluetooth,” explained Xianyi.
“We’ve designed the user interface to be futuristic, intuitive and clean, making it easy for users to access pertinent information at a glance.”
The Mobius will pair seamless with smartphone via bluetooth using the ION app. The app will allow users to customise various settings on the Mobius, as well as user interface and sound themes.
Users will also be able to review their ride data, and analyse and improve their riding style based on ride statistics. Additionally, the app can also help to locate your bike when you search for it using GPS.
These are the key features of the ION Mobius, and more details about its specifications, pricing and availability will only be released next year.
The company is commencing its homologation of the ION Mobius in Indonesia, and pre-orders for it will open soon. It expects to start in-country assembly operations in the Greater Jakarta region by the first half of 2022, and the bike will only hit the roads of Indonesia next year.
Following Indonesia, the company has plans to expand across the region, particularly Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. As it ramps up its scale and operations to cater to growing demand, ION Mobility will expand its team.
ION Mobility currently has over 40 staff across three different countries, with more than half forming its Singapore operations.
Featured Image Credit: ION Mobility