Consultant for Electric Two-wheeler Battery Swapping Assessment

Scope of Work

Activity: Electric Two-wheeler Battery Swapping Assessment
Position: Market Assessment Consultant
Level of Effort: Up to fifty-five (55) Consultant days
Period of Performance: September 14, 2020 – November 16, 2020
Base of Operations: Hanoi / Vietnam

Project Background

Vietnam Urban Energy Security is a 4-year, USAID funded activity that addresses the problems of growing energy demand and air pollution from large coal projects and current urban energy practices in Vietnam. The activity supports cities to take advantage of: 1) the technological advancements and cost reductions of advanced, distributed energy solutions such as rooftop solar, battery storage, and demand response; 2) cleaner forms of transport; 3) energy efficiency and modern energy technologies for municipal services; and 4) business opportunities for local entrepreneurs in deploying distributed energy systems and services.

In supporting cleaner forms of transport, Vietnam Urban Energy Security seeks to promote the development of the electric vehicle (EV) market in Vietnam. The use of electric vehiclesisstill in itsinfancy in Vietnam and the country has not yet developed a roadmap or embraced an official national position on the role of EVs in transportation. To date, the adoption of electric vehicles remain largely marginal, and internal combustion engine (ICE) two-wheelers continue to dominate the market. Especially, charging infrastructure such as charging stations or swapping hubs is almost non-existent, hindering the large-scale adoption of EVs due to the inconvenience for users. Despite these deficiencies, the electric vehicle market has been warming up in recent years and there has been an increasing number of companies – both well-established and new start-ups – that are looking at electric vehicles as a promising new market and seeking investment to test and grow this business.

Objective

In order to promote investments into the Vietnamese EV market, Vietnam Urban Energy Security seeks to evaluate the potential and viability of battery swapping business models for electric two-wheelers in Vietnam (focusing on >250W and >40kg two-wheelers) (the “Assignment”). The Consultant will explore various pathways for battery swapping businesses including B2C (direct to consumer) and B2B (including for fleet managers). The ultimate objective of the Assignment is to provide policy makers and investors with a comprehensive assessment of the opportunities and challenges for battery swapping to help accelerate the growth of electric two-wheelers in Vietnam.

The resulting report should provide potential investors or entrepreneurs with enough information and insight into the Vietnamese context to be able to make educated decisions about whether and how to proceed in this market and provide greater insight into what information should be gathered and what questions should be asked in making these decisions.

Responsibilities

Vietnam Urban Energy Security is seeking an experienced consultant (hereafter referred to as the “Consultant”) who provide extensive expertise across the markets for two-wheelers and electric vehicles in Vietnam.

The Consultant will be required to produce a report that provides:

  • An assessment of the likely dominant future pathway for the charging of two-wheel electric vehicles in Vietnam whether through removable battery swapping or plug-in charging
  • An evaluation of the business potential for an open brand-exchangeable swapping model (e.g. not tied to only one electric two-wheeler Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)) versus a brand-specific swapping model (e.g. the Gogoro model)
  • An assessment of the commercial viability of battery swapping business models (e.g. B2C versus B2B) in Vietnam considering technical, financial, commercial, and regulatory considerations

Using existing examples, the Consultant should provide an overview of the physical, human, and financial resources required to set up, manage and maintain swap points; an assessment of the commercial viability of the business; and suggestion of suitable types of locations for swap points in the context of Vietnam.

In addition, the Assignment should include a review of relevant regulations that may impact the deployment of swap points, as well as permits and licenses required for it.

The Consultant is expected to conduct the Assignment through on in-depth desk research and interviews with key stakeholders for relevant data and understand common practices, drawing on his/her experience and expertise in the subject matter. As part of the Assignment, policy makers, regulators, operators, investors of the automobile industry should be consulted, together with start-ups or new market players of the electric vehicle sector.

Scope of Work

The Assignment includes, but may not be limited to, the following Scope of Work:

  • Market review that includes the following:
    • Overview of the electric two-wheelers market in Vietnam: current status and size of the market, market trends and growth potential over the short and medium term, competitive landscape, and users’ preferences
    • Analysis of the current charging situation and battery technologies in use for electric two-wheelers in Vietnam and determine the most appropriate charging infrastructure for the development of the EV market over the short and medium term (i.e., removable battery vs. e-bike plug-in charging; self-charging at home vs. providers that offer battery swapping)
    • Assessment of the current market shares of removable battery electric two-wheelers and potential market size (over the next five years) of battery swapping, taking into account technological advancements, users’ preferences and competitive landscape in the context of Vietnam – such assessment should include an analysis of the feasibility and challenges for an open brand-exchangeable swapping business model as opposed to a brand-specific swapping model
    • Definition of what a suitable and efficient swap point network would look like in the context of Vietnam (e.g., type of points, coverage ratio, revenue sharing models)
    • Review of relevant regulations and policies that may impact the deployment of swap points as well as permits and licenses required for it
    • Overview of potential battery swapping business models including an assessment of various Go-to-Market strategies including B2C and B2B
    • Overview of the current and future market of electric two-wheelers for battery swapping, including an assessment of partnership approaches for a battery swapping business
  • High-level analysis of the commercial and financial viability of battery swapping in large cities (i.e., Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang), the required financial resources to set up swapping infrastructure, the potential sources of revenue and cost structure associated to the business and the most feasible revenue sharing model (with the third-party hosts of the swapping points)

Deliverables

Throughout the Assignment, the Consultant is expected to participate in regular phone calls and meetings to provide progress updates and should provide outlines of deliverables for comment and approval before developing the reports and prepare drafts for feedback and input before finalizing. Additionally, the Consultant should provide information regarding any interviews held, including interview guides and notes, and should provide a written summary of the desk research that is undertaken.

The Consultant is expected to produce the following deliverables:

  • Draft report of the Assignment
  • Presentation of report and key findings
  • Final report of the Assignment following receipt of written feedback

Location and Reporting

The Consultant will report to the Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP). Depending on the location of the Consultant, the reporting may be through in-person meeting (if based in Hanoi) and/or through weekly conference call (if based elsewhere). All communication will be in English (written and verbally).

Qualifications

  • Experience in the two-wheeler and electric vehicle markets in Vietnam
  • Demonstrated understanding of battery technologies
  • Experience conducting market assessments in Vietnam; preference for candidates who can share relevant examples
  • Experience conducting financial analyses and reviewing business models; preference for candidates who can share relevant examples
  • Demonstrated understanding of the Assignment; ability to propose viable approach to completing the tasks
  • Demonstrated contacts and networks in relevant sectors
  • University degree is required
  • Fluency in Vietnamese
  • Good writing, speaking, and reading skills in English; demonstrated report writing skills in English is required

Application Instructions

Interested candidates should send their CVs and cover letters detailing their relevant experience and information regarding their proposed approach to VUESRecruitment@dai.com by September 14, 2020.

About DAI

DAI works at the cutting edge of international development, combining technical excellence, professional project management, and exceptional customer service to solve our clients’ most complex problems. Since 1970, DAI has worked in 150 developing and transition countries, providing comprehensive development solutions in areas including crisis mitigation, democratic governance and public sector management, agriculture and agribusiness, private sector development and financial services, economics and trade, water and natural resources management, and energy and climate change. Clients include international development agencies, international lending institutions, private corporations and philanthropies, and host-country governments. More information about DAI can be found on the DAI website (www.dai.com).

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