In pole position: race towards electric mobility (VIDEO)

AsianScientist (February 25, 2022) – For car enthusiasts like Dr. Muhammad “Reza” Taurara, a smooth ride is all about specs. Every little detail counts: from color accents and headlights to acceleration and engine power; from the satisfying sound of the engine to the silky smooth motions as drivers weave through traffic.

In Southeast Asia, motorcycles are a popular and economical mode of transport. About 140,000 motorcyclists take to the streets of Singapore, while more than 80% of households in Indonesia and Thailand own motorbikes.

To power these conventional motorcycles, internal combustion engines (ICE) burn fuel and convert chemical energy into kinetic or motion energy. However, much of this energy is lost as heat during the conversion. Besides the highly inefficient process, vehicles emit harmful greenhouse gases, which pollute the environment.

As Chief Operating Officer and Head of Engineering at Scorpio Electric, headquartered in Singapore, Reza and the team are reimagining what it means to ride by going electric.

“I’m curious about how each vehicle drives and immerse myself in passion projects to make them run better,” he said.

An e-bike like Scorpio Electric’s new X1 model generates power from electrical energy stored in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. According to Reza, the electric option is significantly more energy efficient and may be more environmentally friendly depending on the battery source.

He explained that electric motors can use around 80% of the energy to propel the motorcycle forward. In contrast, conventional ICE vehicles can only convert 20% of the available energy.

The X1 motorcycle can also reach a top speed of 105 kilometers per hour. But making e-bikes more mainstream doesn’t stop at specifications that are competitive with conventional motorcycles.

“We have to start by realigning mentalities. We need to unlearn ICE and introduce a new way forward, because electric driving is a completely different paradigm,” Reza said.

The X1 takes around two and a half hours to reach a 90 per cent charge, with a full charge lasting 200 kilometres. While Reza and the Scorpio Electric team already have their sights set on even more efficient designs, it’s clear that drivers will still need easy access to charging stations if EVs really want to go.

To this end, multiple stakeholders have all hands on deck to push for cleaner transport systems. For example, Indonesia is planning 31,000 charging stations to support the two million electric cars and 13 million electric bicycles expected on its roads by 2030.

Similarly, Singapore aims to build 60,000 charging stations across the city-state. It also requires all new car registrations to have cleaner-energy models from 2030, Reza noted.

Scorpio Electric is also taking its electric mobility mission a step further by making its bikes smarter. By combining artificial intelligence and data analysis, Reza and his colleagues have created a mobile app that connects to the X1 motorcycle.

The app provides a myriad of personalized features such as user diagnostics and location of the nearest charging station. With seamless integration between the app and the bike, the innovation could also help save battery life and improve efficiency on long rides.

“As you ride, the bike will be able to tell you how best you can plan your rides and how much battery you’re going to consume,” Reza explained.

He and the team also developed incident detection features. The tool performs safety and maintenance checks to ensure the bike is working properly, alerting riders to any issues and potentially minimizing the risk of road accidents.

Despite the X1’s futuristic design and features, Reza stressed that seeing electric vehicles on the road is no longer a pipe dream. Turning what was once a product of science fiction into reality, Scorpio Electric realizes electric mobility here and now.

From his treasured collection of small cars to pioneering electric vehicles, Reza’s passion for the automotive sector permeates the personal and the professional. Wherever his journey takes him, the engineer has an anchor vision in mind: to pave the way for clean, efficient and electrifying transport, in Singapore and beyond.

“Saying the bike is made in Singapore is very important to us at Scorpio Electric,” Reza said. “I have looked at the automobile every day of my life. My next outing will be electric and it’s exciting.

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Copyright: Asian science magazine.
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