The First Electric Tuktuk for Southeast Asiaby IOT News Asia April 9, 2021 0 comments
MVLLABS Pte Ltd (“MVL”) has raised US$15 million in a Series B funding round led by an existing investor, South Korea’s CENTRAL, with participation from Singapore-based TRIVE Ventures. MVL will channel these funds towards expanding its mobility offerings – beginning with the launch of its first electric vehicle, the ONiON T1.
The ONiON T1 has been developed in collaboration MVL’s strategic investors and partners, namely South Korea-based automotive parts manufacturer CENTRAL. It will be launched through company subsidiary MVL Energy Pte Ltd, alongside TADA, which MVL has pioneered as Southeast Asia’s first blockchain-based ride-hailing service. The ONiON T1 will first be added to TADA’s fleet of vehicles in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where it currently offers both ride-hailing and delivery services.
Form and functionality are combined in the ONiON T1’s design, which is distinguished by its modern curves that offer better aerodynamics. A key highlight of the driver’s cockpit is the digital instrument cluster where information is displayed efficiently to reduce distraction.
The T1 design is geared towards achieving greater cost efficiency. Internal estimations based on Phnom Penh’s market conditions project that the ONiON EV will lower energy costs for traditional three-wheeled vehicles, or tuk-tuks, to just US$60 a month, bringing greater savings for tuk-tuk drivers across the streets of Southeast Asia. T1 vehicles will also be sold separately from batteries, which can power the T1 for up to 100km.
The launch will be accompanied by the installation of ONiON mega battery swapping stations, which will be strategically located across Phnom Penh based on MVL’s simulations and analyses of existing ride-hailing data. With MVL’s swappable battery subscription service, drivers can look forward to convenience, affordable vehicle ownership and lower operational costs.
MVL has recently secured the Qualified Investment Project (“QIP”) status, from the Cambodian government. The ONiON T1 will be assembled in Cambodia’s Kandal province, located in Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Sovannaphum. This is expected to generate 380 new job opportunities. MVL is currently taking pre-orders for the vehicles, with the first production units expected to be available by the end of 2021.
“This vehicle has been designed from the ground-up through engaging our drivers in Cambodia. We envisioned a practical yet aspirational electric vehicle tailored for them and their city of Phnom Penh. We are grateful for the support our strategic investors have provided us. As a company, we have been focused on bridging the technology gap to make mobility affordable, and this launch paves the way for expansion into other EV models. We now look forward to furthering our mission to make mobility environmentally and socially sustainable,”
said Kay Woo, CEO of MVLLABS Pte.Ltd.
TADA in Cambodia has achieved a 50 per cent increase in deliveries for the month of March, laying the groundwork for continual growth. Across the region, TADA is expected to steadily expand its services and capabilities as it leverages on emerging transportation trends.