QIQ Global, a Singapore-based green mobility sharing company that is using blockchain technology to create its ecosystem and community, has signed an agreement with TPR Invest, a Vietnamese investment and property development company, to be its local partner in Vietnam.
The goal of the partnership is to create a business in Vietnam and to deploy 5,000 electric personal mobility devices (“E-PMDs” or “PMDs”) into Hanoi, Da Nang and Haiphong cities. The PMD’s will include electric bicycles and electric scooters that can be rented by consumers for rides in the central areas of each city. At a later date, the company will also offer electric rickshaws and jeeps.
QIQ electric scooters and electric bicycles pictured outside of a Hanoi temple
TPR Invest, the Vietnamese partner, has begun to develop the service in Hanoi and is engaged with the local government officials to provide “last-mile connectivity” for the new Hanoi Metro train service that is expected to begin at the end of 2018.
A spokesman for TPR Invest said: “We are happy to be the first international city to sign up with QIQ’s rapid charging solution for electric personal mobility. Unlike many other solutions we have seen, QIQ vehicles charge in minutes and it comes with a docking system. This will help keep our city neat and provide 24/7 efficient and convenient travel for our citizens and visitors.”
One of the unique points of the QIQ system is that the company has spent 3 years in the development of their proprietary rapid charging energy storage system. PDM’s are recharged at their docking stations and the batteries in the PDMs are fully recyclable and safe and are not based on current Lithium technology. QIQ vehicles, with more than 50,000 duty cycles are designed to outlast the majority of today’s electric bicycles and scooters.
A QIQ electric bike parked outside of a Hanoi café
Vu Ha, of the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport said at the signing ceremony that: “We are happy to see a last-mile green solution that is fully integrated with our city planning to help reduce pollution and improve travelling options for our citizens and tourist alike.”
QIQ Global and TPR Invest signing ceremony
Vu Cao Tung , the Chief Executive Officer of TPR Invest, said at the signing ceremony that:
“Vietnam has seen massive growth in its economy in the recent years, city Infrastructure must continue to improve to meet the demand of the life of the Vietnamese and foreign visitors. Our strategic partnership with QIQ Global to launch QIQ Vietnam will bring green vehicle technology into last-mile connections, thus improving the life of people in Vietnam.”
While the concept of electric scooters and bicycles as a “last mile solution” is attractive in theory, critics note that creating a profitable business will be difficult for a number of reasons including Vietnam’s monsoon rains which make the use of scooters and bicycles difficult or impossible to use and the high potential for theft of the electric scooters and bicycles when they are left unattended on the street.
QIQ believes in building public last-mile connections in a partnership model between operators, government and the people using the services. The company expects that its “last mile solution” will win local government approval in most cities. In order to fund its expansion, the company wants to find individuals and companies who share its vision to create mobility platforms for the masses and who will invest in “fleets” in cities throughout Southeast Asia.