Electrifying motorbike performance

Nearly every family in Southeast Asia has a motorbike — and each two-wheeler produces as much pollution as 10 automobiles. Arrow is helping Singapore startup Oyika develop a new battery ecosystem for electric motorbikes across the region. This technology solution helps reduce emissions and noise, while avoiding the cost and hazards of liquid fuel. And it’s all controlled with a convenient and secure mobile app.

Arrow helps Oyika engineer a smart battery ecosystem for motorbikes via computing, power management and IoT solutions.

Oyika, a Singapore startup, is deploying a better motorbike ecosystem – with help from Arrow Electronics. And not a moment too soon.

Southeast Asia is home to 300 million motorbikes.

Nearly every family owns one. And virtually every delivery service from Bangkok to Jakarta uses two-wheelers in a 24/7 circuit of meal and package distribution. Even ride-share services pick up passengers on motorbikes. Two-wheelers are a natural choice to navigate some of the world’s most congested cities because they are inexpensive, frugal, and nimble. 

But motorbikes are dirty, too.

With a small engine and no emission controls, each motorbike produces air pollution equal to ten automobiles. Multiply the figure by 300 million and now imagine breathing that air every day. It’s no wonder residents suffer from high levels of respiratory and cardiovascular disease. 

Air pollution also is linked to mental illness, dementia, and birth defects. And these same emissions contain greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, too.

The opportunities are significant, and so is the potential market. But with motorbikes so ingrained in the culture and economy of the region, it will take more than offering a new scooter to persuade hundreds of millions of riders to switch. An entirely new battery-based ecosystem is needed to provide a transportation experience that is significantly cleaner and reliable, but not too different or more expensive.

So Oyika turned to Arrow for help providing this complex technology solution.

“Arrow’s international network offers priceless value to startups like us to access the latest technologies and connect to world-class suppliers.”

– Roderick Chia, Oyika’s Chief Technology Officer

A smart battery ecosystem for motorbikes

The problem of battery charge

A major hurdle for electric vehicle owners and makers right now is charging time. Filling a motorbike’s fuel tank takes only a minute or two. Charging a battery conventionally might take hour. That’s a deal-breaker for riders who use motorbikes for many quick trips every day, not to mention delivery drivers running against the clock.

Oyika decided to marry the two approaches with a battery swapping approach. Arrow engineers helped Oyika with the charging kiosk design and the customer interface.

In the Oyika ecosystem, customers access charging kiosks outside convenience stores. They engage the kiosk with a QR code and insert the depleted battery into an open recharging slot. Then they pull out a freshly charged battery and pop it into the motorbike using a simple cable connection.

Each battery can power a motorbike for at least 50 kilometers, and many motorbikes are designed to carry two batteries.

“Battery swapping essentially mimics the user behavior of combustion technology. Swapping out batteries is very much like refilling a fuel tank.”

– Roderick Chia, Oyika’s Chief Technology Officer


The heart of the matter:
A smart(er) battery

Oyika’s swappable battery is at the heart of its electric motorbike ecosystem.  Automobiles have plenty of space for batteries and plenty of ventilation to dissipate heat. Motorbikes are very compact and run hot. That means its batteries must be smaller, perform with lower intensity and able to dissipate heat well, yet still have the capacity to run all day in demanding traffic conditions.

The second challenge is that Oyika’s swappable batteries aren’t fixed in a vehicle like a conventional battery. Within a smart ecosystem, Oyika mobile batteries require a microprocessor and antenna so they can be recharged intelligently, monitored for performance and operate consistently in different motorbikes. 

“We’ve provided Oyika with engineering support. As a result, e-bike riders get uncompromised performance, convenience, and affordability.”

– Jason Khor, senior manager of engineering, Arrow/ Singapore

Arrow is working on several aspects of the integrated solution.

  • Engineering guidance in battery and power management
  • Vehicle speed and location tracking using 4G IoT (Internet of Things) telematics
  • Component selection
  • Battery condition monitoring (voltage, current, charge/discharge rate, temperature, vibration, humidity)
  • GPS-enabled security and safety measures

A hub for collaboration

Today, Oyika meets regularly at the NTU-Arrow Invent Lab in Singapore. Established in 2022 in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University, it is one of the Arrow Open Labs worldwide that serve as innovation and experimental platforms. In these labs, technology startups develop ideas, unleash creativity and bring their inventions to life as they tap into Arrow’s global scale, engineering, computing and supply chain resources.

Oyika battery swap kiosks are being deployed in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and other locations, with hopes of eventually plugging all Southeast Asia into their clean, zero-emissions ecosystem.

“With our global network of open labs we provide startups like Oyika with the design, engineering and supply chain support they need to cut their time to go to market and make their technology a success.”

– Natarajan MM, Arrow’s Vice President, South Asia