Sanyang Motor to enter scooter battery business

By Kwan Shin-han  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Sep 03, 2019 - Page 12

Vehicle and motorcycle maker Sanyang Motor Co (三陽工業) said that it plans to invest NT$250 million (US$7.96 million) in APh ePower Co (亞福儲能), which makes aluminum-ion batteries for electric scooters.

To lower manufacturing costs and supply budget electric scooters, the company has decided to enter the batteries business and it expects its Tainan plant to start supplying quality batteries for its entry-level electric scooters in June next year, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported on Thursday last week, quoting company spokesperson Tian Ren-hao (田人豪).

The company expects shipments of budget electric scooters to rise after the Chinese government set stricter emissions regulations on traditional motorcycles and scooters, Tian told the newspaper.

“We expect the battery plant in Tainan to break even in two years if we can sell between 5,000 and 8,000 electric scooters a year,” a Sanyang Motor public relations official said yesterday, citing Tian’s remarks at an investors’ conference on Wednesday last week.

Although the manufacturing cost of an aluminum-ion battery for an electric scooter is about NT$20,000, higher than the cost of a traditional lead-acid battery, it outperforms it in terms of stability and safety, said the official, who asked to remain anonymous.

The an aluminum-ion battery’s life expectancy is eight to 10 years compared with a lead-acid battery’s three to four years, the official said.

The company is planning to sell at least one entry-level electric scooter priced between NT$30,000 and NT$40,000 in June next year at the earliest.

It is to be equipped with a domestically made battery and other parts, the official said.

It would take five minutes to charge 80 percent of the battery’s capacity and power a 20km to 30km journey, the official added.

Sanyang Motor said that it expects stable growth of its traditional scooter business this year and it plans to release two new high-end motorcycles later this year — a 150cc model next month and a 500cc heavy-duty motorcycle for the European market by the end of the year.

Sanyang Motor’s net income surged 355.84 percent year-on-year to NT$2.22 billion in the first half of the year, or earnings per share of NT$2.7, thanks to asset disposal gains of NT$362 million.

Gross margin declined 0.77 percentage points to 17.67 percent, while cumulative revenue increased 2.73 percent year-on-year to NT$16.63 billion.

Sanyang shares yesterday rose 0.98 percent to close at NT$20.65 in Taipei trading.