Virtual Event on EV Capacity Development Workshop

by Bijon Islam

Date: Wednesday, 23rd February 2022
Time: 4:00 – 5:30 PM (Dhaka Time)
Platform: Zoom Virtual event hosted by LightCastle Partners and Ricardo

LightCastle Partners and Ricardo organized a Virtual Event on “EV Capacity Development Workshop” for the mobility service providers in Bangladesh. This event is part of the UK Government-funded ‘’Road to a Green Bangladesh‘’ project which is surveying the local uptake of EV in the current circumstances. The workshop was led by Romeo Pacudan, Ph.D. MEng, Associate Director at Ricardo Energy & Environment.

Ricardo, with its consortium members IDCOL, LightCastle Partners, Policy Exchange Bangladesh and Hivos Energia, has been working to create awareness and promote EV adaptation in Bangladesh. Startups, ecosystem builders, and financial institutions attended the session to share their insights and knowledge.

The session began with a welcome note from Mehad Ul Haque, Senior Business Consultant and Program Manager of  LightCastle Partners. This was followed by an introduction to the session agenda to the guests. The workshop aimed to provide an overview of potential EV technologies (battery/ charging infrastructure technologies) relevant EV business models that may be beneficial for the Bangladesh landscape.

Mate Antosik, Project Coordinator at Ricardo, shared a brief overview of the project and stated, “The Green Recovery Fund Program is a capacity building program under the UK government’s UK PACT program. It supports innovative capacity-building programs in each partner country. Many businesses in Bangladesh can benefit from making a switch to electric vehicles. At Ricardo, we believe the awareness of knowledge and understanding regarding the EV ecosystem will propel this adoption faster. Through today’s session, we aim to build the capacity of the mobility service providers to support their transition to EV-based business models.”

Capacity Building Workshop by Romeo Pacudan

Dr. Romeo Pacudan, Associate Director of Ricardo, conducted an interactive workshop that covered major building a green Bangladesh by incorporating EVs. Romeo’s presentation covered six distinct points: EV taxonomy, EV Batteries, EV Charging Infrastructures, Standards and Codes, EV Supply Equipment (EVSE) business models and Battery Swapping.

Figure 1: The different types of EVs discussed by Romeo

1. EV Taxonomy

The EV market is driven by the condition of the batteries used in these vehicles. Hence, technological development in improving the quality of batteries is crucial. A few points that were highlighted by Romeo in developing batteries include capacity, charge state, energy density, specific energy, specific power, charge cycles, lifespan, internal resistance and efficacy. 

Historically, nickel-cadmium batteries and nickel-metal hybrid batteries were used in EVs. However, Romeo spoke about the high demand for lithium-ion batteries at present due to their overruling advantages. Lithium-ion batteries have mostly outperformed other batteries in the present market. In addition, the price of Lithium-ion batteries has also reduced over the years, making it more lucrative. 

2. EV Batteries

The EV market is driven by the condition of the batteries used in these vehicles. Hence, technological development in improving the quality of batteries is crucial. A few points that were highlighted by Romeo in developing batteries include capacity, charge state, energy density, specific energy, specific power, charge cycles, lifespan, internal resistance and efficacy. 

Historically, nickel-cadmium batteries and nickel-metal hybrid batteries were used in EVs. However, Romeo spoke about the high demand for lithium-ion batteries at present due to their overruling advantages. Lithium-ion batteries have mostly outperformed other batteries in the present market. In addition, the price of Lithium-ion batteries has also reduced over the years, making it more lucrative. 

3. EV Charging Infrastructure

Figure 2: The main purposes of EV Supply Equipment

EV Supply Equipment (EVSE) refers to the supply tools and mechanism for EVs, which form the foundation of the charging infrastructure. Romeo touched upon the few factors that work as the EVSE deployment driver. First, EVSEs promise increased energy security, reducing fossil fuel usage, leading to better overall air quality. The inclusion of EVSE aligns with the international climate and environmental commitments of reducing greenhouse gas. Finally, economic development is also expected to occur due to the positive changes in the ecosystem associated with EVSE.

4. Codes and Standards

Romeo further explained the concept of code and standards for implementing EVs. These are meant to be used by product designers, manufacturers, installers and operators. These also shed light on the charging modes of some other regions like North America, China and Europe. The connectors used for charging vary based on these regional classifications.

Figure 3: The codes and standards implemented for India’s EV charging infrastructure

5. EV Supply Equipment (EVSE) Business Models

The EV sector is emerging with diverse business models designed by companies to  respond to the major barriers to EV adoption which include limited driving range, limited availability of charging infrastructure,  long re-charging times and high costs. In this segment, Romeo explored the EVSE business models from the perspectives of different actors within the context of a developing country like Bangladesh. 

Furthermore, Romeo touched upon the factors that need to be considered before adopting an EVSE business model. First, multiple EVSE business models exist and different models can be adopted by the same country/ region/ city. Moreover, different EVSE models justify specific circumstances and not all of them might be profitable. However, they may be necessary. Finally, EVSE often operates as a network of multiple units.

6. Battery Swapping

Romeo spoke about battery swapping technology, which works as an alternative to cable charging. Battery swapping includes exchanging an EV discharged battery for a charged one, eliminating the need to wait at the station for the EV to charge. The business model is based on leasing/ renting/ subscription for battery swapping stations or pay-as-you-go systems for EV batteries. This approach can be used by individuals or fleets (cars, buses, trucks, 3 and 2 wheelers). Romeo further commented that businesses that work with food delivery and logistical transport (2-3 wheeler vehicles) could consider this type of technology.

The attendees that joined this event represented the following companies – SOLshare, Advanced Dynamics, Dhaka Cast, Truck Lagbe, Jobike, and Lily. The presentation was followed by a discussion session, where the attendees shared their opinions and questions on the content of the talk. Comments and questions along with Romeo’s answers are provided below:

Nafees Ur Rahman
Head of Business, Truck Lagbe

“This session was loaded with a ton of useful information. I believe there is a massive opportunity in Bangladesh for EV solutions, and initiatives like this can further accelerate EV growth in Bangladesh. Thank you, Ricardo and LightCastle Partners, for the amazing session and knowledge sharing!”

Mehedi Reza
Co-Founder & CEO, Jobike

“Public transport in Bangladesh is costly and also not very easily available. So bicycles can be an easy solution to this, we believe.  Jobike was launched in 2018 with 20 bicycles and now has more than 300 bicycles in operation. Jobike has also launched a smart e-bicycle to fasten the speed of bicycles for the convenience of the users. It was a wonderful session and I have learned so much today. These types of sessions and support can help startups like Jobike to scale further and contribute to the growth of the EV ecosystem in Bangladesh”

Nafees Ur Rahman
Head of Business, Truck Lagbe

Q) When can we see a bigger picture of this implementation in Bangladesh ?

A) The technical side is possible to implement and also financially viable. However, regulations coming from the government work as a major barrier.  Major initiatives need to be taken to ensure faster EV upscale. The regulatory framework has to be designed accordingly. The commercial and market framework also plays an important role. Import is also a big obstacle at the moment. EVs are going to be more financially viable than conventional combustion engines. 

Asma Haque
Managing Director, Prokaushuli Sangsad Limited

Q) What would happen to the traffic jam situation when the number of EVs increase on the roads?

A) New EVs will not come as surplus as a portion of conventional bikes will be replaced. However, projections are yet to be done on this. Traffic congestion issue needs coordination between the Ministry of Energy and the Transport Authority. Other countries have dedicated lanes for bikes  and it should be adopted here for better management of the traffic congestion. 

Mehedi Reza
Co-Founder & CEO, Jobike

Q) How do we develop charging stations in busy urban areas?

A) Thailand, specifically Bangkok, is a good case study of this. E-bikes are used to provide last-mile mobility services for the residents who have to travel through narrow streets in crowded areas using specific lanes for these vehicles. Bangkok has successfully implemented this with the support of their City Corporation. This could potentially be replicated for Dhaka, with designated areas for e-bikes or e-bicycles and charging stations to cater to these.


Main Participants of the Event:

Mobility Service Providers:

  1. Syed Saif, Co-Founder & CEO, Lily
  2. Mehedi Reza, Co-Founder & CEO, Jobike
  3. Afroza Riju Khatun, Co-Founder, Dhaka Cast
  4. Al Ferdous Rana, Co-Founder, Dhaka Cast
  5. Gopal Kumar Mohoto. Co-founder & CTO, Advanced Dynamics
  6. Hannes Kirchhoff, Chief Technology Officer, SOLshare
  7. Sumit Ranjan Chakraborty, Firmware & Communications Engineer, SOLshare
  8. Raton Hosen, Lead Data & Software Engineer, SOLshare
  9. Madiha Khan, Junior Product Manager, SOLshare 
  10. Nafees Ur Rahman, Head of Business, Truck Lagbe
  11. Asif Ahmed, Assistant Manager, Pathao
  12. Muhammad Raisul Amin, Director, Pathao
  13. Ahmed Asif Shahnewaz, Director, Pathao
  1. Syed Saif, Co-Founder & CEO, Lily
  2. Mehedi Reza, Co-Founder & CEO, Jobike
  3. Afroza Riju Khatun, Co-Founder, Dhaka Cast
  4. Al Ferdous Rana, Co-Founder, Dhaka Cast
  5. Fahreen Hannan, Co-FOunder & CEO, Dhaka Cast
  6. Gopal Kumar Mohoto. Co-founder & CTO, Advanced Dynamics
  7. Hannes Kirchhoff, Chief Technology Officer, SOLshare
  8. Sumit Ranjan Chakraborty, Firmware & Communications Engineer, SOLshare
  9. Raton Hosen, Lead Data & Software Engineer, SOLshare
  10. Madiha Khan, Junior Product Manager, SOLshare 
  11. Nubaira Rizvi, Data Analyst, SOLshare
  12. Asif Ahmed, Senior Manager, SOLshare
  13. Jawwad Jahangir, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Shuttle
  14. Rafiq Islam, Co-Founder & CEO, Safewheel
  15. Nafees Ur Rahman, Head of Business, Truck Lagbe
  16. Muhammad Raisul Amin, Director, Pathao
  17. Ahmed Asif Shahnewaz, Director, Pathao

Project Partners:

  1. Mate Antosik, Principal Consultant, Ricardo
  2. Romeo Pacudan, Associate Director, Ricardo
  3. Ashraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Assistant Vice President, Infrastructure Development Company
  4. Asma Haque, Managing Director, Prokaushuli Sangsad Limited
  5. Bijon Islam, CEO & Co-Founder, LightCastle Partners
  6. Mehad ul Haque, Project Manager & Sr. Business Consultant, LightCastle Partners
  7. Mustafa Hamid, Business Consultant, LightCastle Partners
  8. Mubassira Tabassum, Trainee Consultant, LightCastle Partners
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