How Vietnam is using e-scooters to save businesses from power outages

Vietnam has thousands and thousands of e-scooters and an unstable energy provide. One may suppose that these two issues sign bother when put collectively, however right here’s how some Vietnamese are utilizing their e-scooters to enhance stability of {the electrical} grid and assist small companies keep away from blackouts.

In Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam’s most populous metropolis, energy outages are fairly frequent. They’re typically scheduled or introduced forward of time, however energy outages do happen on a weekly foundation, in varied components of town.

Consequently, bigger companies could have a generator of some type available to maintain issues operating when the ability goes out, however many Vietnamese have small, single-person proprietorships (suppose small retailers, meals carts and so forth) that won’t have the sources for one thing like that.

However there’s an lively and enterprising neighborhood of e-scooter customers who’re attempting to supply a cell answer to this drawback – with the large batteries they carry round of their bikes.

The initiative, known as Re:Cost has been taken on as a grassroots effort by homeowners of Dat Bike e-scooters. Dat Bike is an area Vietnamese model, launched in 2019 and nonetheless comparatively small within the scheme of issues, however with an lively on-line neighborhood round its customers.

Dat Bike put collectively a video showcasing the hassle from its neighborhood:

To date, the Re:Cost effort has been taken on by a comparatively small set of about ~10 customers, however they need to broaden their attain, inform their story and get extra individuals concerned.

They’ve arrange a hotline for native companies in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, and up to now have helped a number of eateries, bakeries and occasional retailers, a tattoo parlor, and a grocery retailer.

And as it is a neighborhood effort, Re:Chargers haven’t been charging companies for his or her providers, they only need to assist out. Although they’re blissful to simply accept free snacks in return from the ice cream freezers they save.

Dat Bike e-scooters have as much as a 5kWh battery, and will be paired with a 1kW or 2kW inverter to show them right into a 220V energy supply. These inverters can run for 4 and a couple of hours respectively at full load and on a full battery, and are sufficient to energy, for instance, the lights and a couple of freezers for a small comfort retailer for 3-4 hours.

The group has been publicizing its efforts by means of a Facebook page and TikTok account (each in Vietnamese), and is hoping to recruit extra customers to affix within the effort.

Electrek’s Take

Whereas it is a small effort (up to now), in a rustic that Electrek doesn’t cowl a lot or get a bunch of readers from, once we have been pitched this story by e mail I couldn’t resist.

Not solely is it a enjoyable little story a few neighborhood effort that’s offering assist for small companies who want it, it additionally helps to focus on one of many sensible advantages of EVs.

One of many frequent refrains about EVs is “what if the ability goes out?,” however right here we’ve got an instance of EVs providing a profit when the ability goes out.

We’ve seen it earlier than, with EVs being more resilient in disasters and providing mobile power for flood response. However the Dat Bikers present that you simply don’t want a 98+kWh battery to unravel issues, only a comparatively small 5kWh battery may help for sure purposes.

If we lastly begin to see the proliferation of bidirectional charging, V2L, V2G and what-have-you, this kind of factor may grow to be extra frequent, and might showcase an enormous potential advantage of EVs.

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