Major memory module manufacturer ADATA has announced its logistics subsidiary Awayspeed and brand-new commercial eTrike, the first of its kind in Taiwan, with a 200 kg max load and 800 kg towing capacity. In this article, we take an in-depth look at ADATA’s latest ventures.
Not only is ADATA a major manufacturer of memory modules, as previously mentioned, but the company has also been following in the footsteps of Japan-based Yamaha in an effort to become the tech company with the most diverse technology tree. Prior to announcing its eTrike and logistics service, ADATA had already tried its hands at the powdered milk and robotics markets. However, automotive, or more precisely eTrike, manufacturing is anything but an impulsive act.
In 2018, ADATA established its powertrain business unit, responsible for electric motor system R&D. “ADATA Powertrain” was to manufacture permanent-magnet synchronous motors in-house and develop water and air cooling systems for said motors, thereby indirectly increasing said motors’ torque and making them more compact. Although ADATA Powertrain has so far released no news following its tech demonstrations in 2018, ADATA has been constantly working with the Taiwanese electric scooter industry to improve electric motor designs.
However, just as different industries are worlds apart in both technologies and markets, proficiency in memory design does not necessarily translate into proficiency in automotive design. That is why Awayspeed has handed eTrike body design duties over to Aeon Motor while using Gogoro’s swappable battery system to power its vehicles.
▲ Aeon Motor handled the designs for the eTrike’s rear-wheel suspension and transmission systems. A closer inspection reveals the Aeon logo on the transmission.
“Despite weighing over 200 kg, Awayspeed’s eTrike can still enter alleyways agilely,” claimed ADATA chairman Simon Chen. “The eTrike also maintains great handling and safety.” Chen then went on to make the claim that diverse resource integrations would allow the eTrike in question to substantially revolutionize the Taiwanese logistics industry and even expand to the international markets.
For logistics purposes, cars are too big; two-wheelers carry too little. Given the explosive ecommerce and logistics demand generated by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, many companies are looking to eTrikes, which are positioned between two- and four-wheelers, as a possible solution, since their max loads are nearly 10 times that of commercial motorcycles.
▲ When joined by foldable tabletops and stands, the eTrike can double as a mini food cart.
eTrikes saw limited adoption in the past owing to Taiwan’s stringent regulations, but now that the MOEA has relaxed its limitations on eTrike max load specifically for low-emission models, these three-wheelers have become more common. According to ADATA’s Chen, should regulatory approval become even more lax and eTrikes be allowed to exceed 200 kg in max load, ADATA Powertrain should be able to come up with products whose max load reaches anywhere between 400 kg to 600 kg.
With a max speed of 80 km/h and max load of 800 L, Awayspeed’s eTrikes boast an impressive 2.5 m turning radius. Riders gain access to the electronic reverse gear with the click of a button, making it easy to navigate narrow alleys. Dimension-wise, an eTrikes is slightly smaller than a Smart car, meaning it is truly able to respond to various delivery needs with agility.
The 13kW electric motor manufactured by ADATA Powertrain in-house has a torque of 50N⋅m. In terms of power, this motor puts the Gogoro S motor to shame.
In addition to its massive cargo, Awayspeed eTrikes are equipped with a small front-mounted basket, with optional windshields and canopies. Furthermore, Awayspeed’s proprietary power system means riders can install a cold chain for low-temperature transportation of cargos. Alternatively, food warmers can also be installed, should hot food deliveries be required.
▲ These eTrikes are relatively wide, and the rearview mirrors have been enlarged to accommodate the expanded field of view required.
Along with its new vehicles, ADATA is also going into the logistics business with its Awayspeed subsidiary. Combining a smart fleet management and positioning system, Awayspeed aims to integrate funding, logistics, and information into a hardware- and software-integrated service platform for logistics companies.
Interestingly, ADATA’s eTrike looks remarkably similar to Aeon’s previously announced Ai-2 Gather concept vehicle at first glance. After all, the two vehicles are children from the same parents. Readers interested in Ai-2 can perhaps pay much attention to Awayspeed’s vehicle.
It should also be noted that although the eTrike uses Gogoro batteries, the motor and electronics systems are all manufactured in-house by ADATA Powertrain. In other words, the requirement for PBGN members to adopt the holy trinity of Gogoro’s battery, motor, and electronics seems to be relaxing. This is supported by the fact that CMC eMoving, which manufactures its own motors, has recently announced its membership in PBGN. In other words, motor limitations are no longer an excuse for the other manufacturers in PBGN; in the future, electric motors will become an even more intense battlefield.
▲ Four large logistics operators in Taiwan have already placed their respective orders such that eTrikes will be seen on the roads starting next year.
ADATA’s eTrike will be manufactured by Aeon, with an expected delivery date in 1H21. Although the company has yet to announce the final retail price, Chen claims that he would attempt to curb the price within NT$200,000. As well, certain major logistics companies in Taiwan have already placed orders for these eTrikes, and Chunghwa Post may potentially adopt Awayspeed too.