Electric scooters are gaining popularity with Taiwan commuters who have praised the various battery swapping ecosystems for their convenience and ease of use. Thanks to the right government policies and smart marketing by local manufacturers, Taiwan’s love affair with electric scooters could also help improve air quality in major cities.
光陽工業董事長柯勝峯和 The China Post說：「我們在 2018 年推出第一代的 IONEX 電動機車，但我們其實花了好多年研發。」光陽工業是一家台灣公司，以 KYMCO 此品牌專售摩托車。
“We launched the first generation of IONEX scooters in 2018, even though we actually started their development several years before that,” Kwang Yang Motor Co. (光陽工業) Chairman Allen Ko (柯勝峰) told The China Post. The Taiwan company sells motorcycles and scooters under the KYMCO brand.
他繼續表示：「成功關鍵是要掌握消費者的需求。推出第一代 IONEX 後，我們很快發現在這個電動時代中，人們真正追求的不只是一種交通工具，而是不同的思維。」
“The key is that we had to learn what the market really wants,” he added. “So by launching the first generation IONEX, we quickly realized that what people really want in the electric era was not just a means of transportation, it’s a different kind of mindset.”
柯勝峯董事長的這番話聽起來十分有意義及謙卑，事實上，光陽工業是機車製造商的龍頭老大，銷售量稱霸第一長達約 20 年時間，在台市占率過 30%。
The statement sounds like a very rewarding and humbling experience learned by a company that has had a long history of making gas-fueled scooters. Kwang Yang has to hold on to the No. 1 selling spot for about two decades, with a local market share of more than 30 percent.
“In the electric era, people not just want something that is green, that’s clean, but they also want to have a different type of experience,” he continued. “And they want people to know that ‘I’m the type of person’ who is riding an electric scooter.”
為滿足消費者的需求，光陽工業在過去三年中的理念從「製造機車」轉化「提供客戶體驗」。這也是為什麼光陽決定針對 IONEX 系列佈建全新的能源交換網絡。
With the same observation in mind, the company has changed its perspective from “making motorcycles” to “providing a consumer experience” over the past three years. And, that’s the reason why the company decided to have a totally new distribution network dedicated to the IONEX series.
“If you look at the models, they are quite different from the first generation models, because, for the first generation models, we shared the design with Internal combustion engine (ICE, 內燃機) and electric scooters. But now, you can see that it is totally different,” he explained. “This year, we expect to expand our dealership to 100 stores in Taiwan.”
對許多台灣人來說，電動機車甚至可完全取代汽車，因此台灣確實是電動機車市場的重要角逐地。然而，從 IONEX 生態系統的快速擴張可知，稱霸傳統機車市場已不能滿足光陽工業了。
Taiwan is for sure an important market for electric scooters as many residents use their scooters entirely as car replacements. But the rapid expansion of the IONEX ecosystem further shows that Kwang Yang Motor is no longer content with only dominating the gasoline-fueled scooters market.
從去年九月份開始，憑藉完善的能源交換網路，光陽 IONEX 3.0 迅速引發熱議。柯董事長補充道：「IONEX 銷售成績的成長很亮眼。」
Starting from September last year, the brand has enjoyed quick traction for its IONEX 3.0 models thanks to this new dedicated network. “We saw a very big growth of the IONEX market share,” he added.
短短幾個月內，光洋的市佔率從 1% 成長到 5%。「我們相當看好今年 IONEX 的成長，我認為主不僅是電池交換系統， IONEX 尊榮換電的商業模式也是一大功臣。」
The company went from less than 1 percent to nearly 5 percent of the market share in just a few months. “We are very confident about this year’s growth for the IONEX scooters, the overall portfolio. I think the main driver for the growth is that we launched not just the battery swapping models. We also launched the business model for charging — the IONEX Recharge (IONEX尊榮換電).”
The new service is in line with KYMCO’s brand spirit — “Win My Heart,” which means distinctions, persistence, and pride for the company. Most importantly, the motto highlights how the company management needs to look at things from the customer’s perspective.
「這種品牌精神幫助我們迅速因應台灣消費者的喜好而做出改變。擴展海外市場時，我們必須採取本地化策略，了解當地的需求。」光陽工業董事者指出，要改變既有思維對已有 57 年歷史的光陽來說其實並不容易。為了克服此挑戰，光陽成立「光陽金庫資本」，這是一家打造電動機車生態系統的風險投資公司，成立近10年了。
“In Taiwan, the brand spirit has helped us to change quickly, to adapt to what the customers want. And when we go overseas, I think that we will need to localize; we need to understand the local needs,” the KYMCO chairman pointed out
KYMCO is a company that has 57 years of history, and it’s really difficult to change the mindset, according to Ko. To overcome this challenge, the company established KYMCO Capital (金庫資本) – a venture capital company that focuses on building the EV ecosystem – nearly 10 years ago.
“So, we had a chance to talk to quite a few startup companies, their teams, and understand their mindset,” he went on. “And during that process, we learned a lot about the foresight of the development of the industry.”
Against this backdrop, KYMCO has worked with different delivery platforms, such as GBG Express (全球快遞), to understand the needs of professionals which are quite different from the average consumer’s needs. “They are more sophisticated, as for efficiency, also costs. And they require higher technology input, and maybe more sophisticated software,” he remarked.
他表示：「這非常有助於我們拓展海外市場。」光陽已和許多業界領導品牌，如哈雷戴維森，簽下夥伴關係。柯董事長幾年前曾參訪哈雷旗下品牌 LiveWire 總部，觀摩該品牌先進的電動機車。
“That is really going to be helpful when we go overseas,” he said, hitting at several partnerships with industry leaders such as Harley-Davidson. Ko visited the headquarters of the iconic motorcycle manufacturer a few years ago to learn from the more advanced LiveWire electric motorcycle.
去年年初，光陽受邀成為 LiveWire 策略合作夥伴，並以特殊目的收購公司 (SPAC) 掛牌上市。「重點是如何結合光陽與哈雷戴維森的優勢，並且幫助 LiveWire，讓這項合作關係成為雙贏局面，如何達成互補互利？」
At the beginning of last year, Kwang Yang Motor then received an invitation from Harley-Davidson’s chairman to become the strategic partner of LiveWire and go public through a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
“The key is how can KYMCO contribute with what Harley-Davidson has, and help LiveWire at the same time; how can this partnership help KYMCO?”
「IONEX 是輕巧型機車，適合在都市裡騎乘。LiveWire 投入大馬力機車的研發許久，這也是光陽想發展的方向。目前我們已推出兩款概念車， REVONEX 和 SUPERNEX。 」柯董事長提及。
“The IONEX is more for urban compact scooters, it’s for the mass market, LiveWire has been developing high-powered motorcycles, which is the area where KYMCO has been trying to get into,” he continued. “We have launched two concept vehicles: One is the REVONEX, one is the SUPERNEX.”
“We can make use of each other’s strengths. For us, we are very good at manufacturing, quality manufacturing and maybe compared to the manufacturing bases in the U.S., we are less expensive,” he continued.
“LiveWire has more advanced technology in terms of the high power motorcycle because they already have one that is running in the market for like four or five years and that is a tremendous experience you can get from the customer feedback from the market feedback,” he stressed.