Vietnamese electric motorbike manufacturer, Dat Bike, which creates “Made in Vietnam” bikes using domestic parts, announced that it has raised $2.6 million in pre-Series A funding, which will allow the company to move forward with its goal to become the top electric motorbike company in Southeast Asia.
Son Nguyen, a Da Nang native founded Dat Bike. Nguyen learned how to build bikes from scrap parts while studying and working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. Son moved back to Da Nang in 2018 and started the company there. Son’s team has since moved to Binh Duong, just north of Saigon, where they are setting up a new, bigger factory to increase production capacity.
It’s estimated that up to 80% of households in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam own motorcycles, but more than 95% of these are fueled by gas. Nguyen believes that many people will switch to electric motorbikes once their performance is similar to gas bikes.
Made in Vietnam with mostly domestic parts, Dat Bike’s selling point is its ability to compete with gas motorbikes in terms of pricing and performance. The company’s flagship motorbike, called Weaver, was created to compete against gas motorbikes and has the following unique selling points:
• Automotive-grade Lithium-ion battery with a 10-year lifespan
• 100km on a single charge – twice the range of most electric motorbikes
• Fast charging – 3 hours from a standard electric outlet
• Regenerative Brake that charges the battery while braking
• Seats two people
• 5000W motor that accelerates from 0 to 50 km per hour in three seconds
• Top speed of 70km/h
Dat Bike opened its first physical store in Ho Chi Minh City last December, and the company saw an immediate 35% month-over-month growth in new orders. According to CEO Nguyen, the company “has shipped a few hundred motorbikes so far and still have a backlog of orders.”
Weaver is priced at 39.9 million VND / $1,740 USD which makes it’s pricing comparable to the average price of gas powered motorbikes. In order to stimulate demand, Dat Bike is offering financing options that allow consumers to make 12-month payment plans with no interest.
Dat Bikes are developed in house, with locally sourced Vietnamese parts. The company says that the benefits of manufacturing in Vietnam, instead of sourcing from China and other countries, include streamlined logistics and supply chains, since the majority of its suppliers are domestic companies.
Nguyen adds that, “There are also huge tax advantages for being local, as import tax for bikes is 45% and for bike parts ranging from 15% to 30%. Trade within Southeast Asia is tariff-free though, which means that we have a competitive advantage to expand to the region, compared to foreign imported bikes.”
In order to support the adoption of electric vehicles, the Vietnam Ministry of Transportation has proposed new regulations that will mandate electric charging stations be available at parking lots and bike stations. There is also talk of the government providing subsidies to consumers who buy electric motorbikes.