Electric scooters and motorcycles are reshaping the last-mile mobility sector across Asia. Apart from providing a solid alternative to gas-powered two-wheelers and the use of public transport in the private sector, lightweight EV two-wheelers are also empowering businesses to adopt more sustainable practices, while at the same time, providing savings over a long-term period.
For example, in Malaysia, EP Manufacturing Behrad (EPMB), has recently announced a collaboration with electric mobility startup Blueshark and last-mile delivery service giant Grab. The program revolves around the Blueshark R1 electric scooter which we’ve talked about in the past. EPMB seeks to use the R1’s utility-focused capabilities, as well as its efficient technology to provide Grab riders with a more sustainable vehicle to fulfill deliveries. For reference, the Blueshark R1 was launched in the Malaysian market back in March, 2023.
To start with, the partnership will provide 50 units of the Blueshark R1 to selected Grab riders. The bikes will be fitted with two batteries, wherein riders will be able to use the scooters for free. Meanwhile, Blueshark will be collecting data through various sensors installed on the scooter, as well as user feedback in order to further improve the electric scooter.
EPMB also has a second program encompassing a much larger user base of Grab riders. Here, riders can avail of the Blueshark R1 at a discounted price. This is being done to encourage more and more riders to switch to electric, as at present, nearly all of Malaysia’s last-mile delivery riders make use of scooters and motorcycles with internal combustion engines. According to a report by SoyaCincau, Grab Malaysia has about 80,000 riders, and the new program hopes to encourage them all to make the switch to electric.
It’s worth noting that EPMB has yet to announce the discounted price for the Blueshark R1 as part of the program, so we can assume that it has yet to be implemented, and will do so once the trial phase has been completed. Nevertheless, convincing people to shift to electric will certainly prove challenging in Malaysia, as the cost of purchasing an electric scooter such as the Blueshark R1 is still much higher than buying a gas scooter – even when you factor in the fact that you’ll never need to refuel the electric scooter.
For reference, the most affordable version of the Blueshark R1, the Lite, has a retail price of RM 13,182 ($2,858 USD). Meanwhile, the range-topping model will set you back RM15,424, or about $3,344 USD. Take note, buying a used gas-powered scooter could cost even less than half of this.