In Pole Position: Racing Toward Electric Mobility (VIDEO)

Automotive enthusiast Dr. Muhammad Taureza and the Scorpio Electric team are engineering electric bikes to realize a future of cleaner transport.

AsianScientist (Feb. 25, 2022) – For automotive enthusiasts like Dr. Muhammad “Reza” Taureza, a sweet ride is all about the specs. Every little detail counts: from color accents and headlights to acceleration and motor power; from the satisfying sound of the engine to the silky movements as riders weave through traffic.

In Southeast Asia, motorcycles are a popular and economic mode of transport. About 140,000 motorcyclists take to the streets in Singapore, while over 80 percent of households in Indonesia and Thailand own motorbikes.

To power up these conventional motorcycles, internal combustion engines (ICE) burn fuel and transform chemical energy into kinetic or movement energy. However, much of this energy is lost as heat during the conversion. Besides the highly inefficient process, the vehicles emit harmful greenhouse gases, which pollute the environment.

As Chief Operating Officer and Head of Engineering at Singapore-headquartered Scorpio Electric, Reza and the team are reimagining what it means to ride—by going electric.

“I am curious to know how each vehicle drives and to delve into passion projects to make them drive better,” he expressed.

An electric bike like Scorpio Electric’s newly launched X1 model generates power from electrical energy stored in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. According to Reza, the electric option is significantly more energy efficient and can be more environmentally friendly depending on the battery source.

He explained that electric engines can use about 80 percent of the energy to propel the motorcycle forward. In contrast, conventional ICE vehicles can only convert 20 percent of the energy available.

The X1 motorcycle can also reach a top speed of 105 kilometers-per-hour. But making electric bikes more mainstream doesn’t stop with specifications that are competitive with conventional motorcycles.

“We have to start by realigning mindsets. We have to unlearn ICE and introduce a new way forward as riding electric is a completely different paradigm,” Reza said.

The X1 takes about two and a half hours to get to 90 percent charge, with a full charge lasting 200 kilometers. While Reza and the Scorpio Electric team already have their sights set on engineering even more efficient designs, it’s clear that riders will still need easy access to charging stations if electric vehicles are to truly hit the ground running.

To that end, multiple stakeholders have all hands on deck to push for cleaner transport systems. For example, Indonesia eyes 31,000 charging stations to support the expected two million electric cars and 13 million electric bikes traversing its roads by 2030.

Similarly, Singapore aims to build 60,000 charging stations across the city-state. It is also requiring all new automobile registrations to have cleaner-energy models from 2030 onwards, Reza noted.

Scorpio Electric is also taking the mission of electric mobility a step further by making their bikes smarter. By combining artificial intelligence and data analytics, Reza and colleagues created a mobile app that connects with the X1 motorcycle.

The app provides a myriad of tailored features such as user diagnostics and locating the nearest charging station. With the seamless integration between the app and the bike, the innovation could also help with conserving battery and improving efficiency during long trips.

“When you get on, the bike will actually be able to tell you how you can better plan your trips and how much battery you’re going to consume,” Reza explained.

He and the team also developed incident detection features. The tool runs safety and maintenance checks to ensure that the bike is running smoothly, alerting riders to any concerns and potentially minimizing the risk of road accidents.

Despite X1’s futuristic design and features, Reza highlighted that seeing electric vehicles on the road is no longer a pipe dream. Turning what was once a figment of science fiction into reality, Scorpio Electric is realizing electric mobility here and now.

From his prized collection of toy cars to pioneering electric vehicles, Reza’s passion for the automotive sector pervades the personal and the professional. Wherever his ride may take him, the engineer has an anchoring vision in mind: paving the way for clean, efficient and electrifying transport—in Singapore and beyond.

“To say that the bike is made in Singapore is very important to us at Scorpio Electric,” Reza expressed. “I’ve been looking at automotive every day of my life. My next ride is going to be electric and that’s exciting.”


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Erinne Ong reports on basic scientific discoveries and impact-oriented applications, ranging from biomedicine to artificial intelligence. She graduated with a degree in Biology from De La Salle University, Philippines.

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