When low income workers shift to using electric motorbikes, you know that something transformational is happening. This is the reality in Thailand now, thanks to a new brand called "CyFai" (shorthand Thai slang for motorbike "moto cy" รถมอเตอร์ไซค์ and electric "fai fa" ไฟฟ้า).

CyFai's parent company won the prestigious "Low Carbon Lifestyle Award 2020" presented by the United Nations Environment Program, for a new service that makes the use of e-bikes affordable through a clever combination of:

  • using swappable batteries as a service (reducing the upfront cost of owning an e-bike),
  • solar PV powered charging stations (that use cheap surplus solar electricity from commercial and industrial rooftops, the same factories where e-bike users are working),
  • e-bike lease-to-own financing (backed by climate finance),
  • high quality e-bikes that come with performance guarantees (to reduce the risk of investing in an e-bike, which is a prized possession for low income drivers),
  • and last but not least: the use of carbon finance by South Pole's SHIFT Asia Program.

CyFai's journey is interesting: the company started as a provider of shade solutions for factory parking lots in Thailand. It got paid to keep the sun out, ignoring its value. Now it is embracing it, and turns the solar PV roofs into an asset as they provide shade for bike owners.

The numbers are staggering. Factory owners pay US$95 to shade one square meter for 10 year. However, using the sun's energy to fuel e-bikes creates a value of US$ 2,500 per square meter over 10 years. CyFai has found a way to harvest and share this value with low income workers, factory owners, operators of solar PV solutions and the emerging Thai e-mobility ecosystem.

This is what a sustainable abundance economy looks like: the sun creates wealth for everyone to the tune of US$250/year.

CyFai provides a perfect example of a post-COVID-19 green recovery strategy and demonstrates the new normal. Its business model triggers investment into green infrastructure, reduces the transport cost of workers (who use up to 25% of their income to get to work and who have been hit hard by the crisis), reduces the energy cost of factories where they work, while reducing local pollution and global emissions.

As a participant of the SHIFT Program, CyFai might also help Switzerland meet its NDC if an agreement between Thailand and Switzerland on cooperation under Art. 6 of the Paris Agreement is reached.

SHIFT Asia aims to accelerate electric vehicle use across South East Asia and South Pole is proud to have CyFai as a member of its Program. Its activities are currently focused on Thailand but we are working to broaden it to include Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

We welcome everyone who shares our vision that sustainable transport solutions will drive the energy transition in South East Asia to join us.

Keen to find out more? Check out more information about the SHIFT program here or reach out to Daniel Scheerooren at d.scheerooren@southpole.com.
SHIFT is another example of how our team at South Pole is connecting relevant stakeholders to accelerate climate action - more about that here.