Green means go for e-bike startup

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SUNDAY EXPAT - By SHI XI sun­dayed@chi­nadaily.com.cn

It takes only five sec­onds to ac­cel­er­ate from 0 to 100 kilo­me­ters per hour for the elec­tric­ity-pow­ered mo­tor­cy­cle DELTA, but it took five years for Nathan Siy to come this far.

DELTA 13 and 15 are the prod­ucts of ElectroForce Mo­tors. The com­pany founded by Siy and two other ex­pats in 2013 fo­cuses on pro­duc­ing state-of-theart elec­tric law en­force­ment ve­hi­cles.

The jour­ney started back in 2008 when Siy fin­ished his con­tract with an ed­u­ca­tional firm in Bei­jing and was ready to re­turn to Canada. How­ever, a cheap elec­tric bike he bought changed his mind.

“The tours in Bei­jing made me think about the pos­si­bil­i­ties a clean, en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly two-wheeled mode of trans­port could bring about,” Siy says.

Based on this idea, Siy started Bei­jing Elec­tric Bike Tours, which takes vis­it­ing guests on a trip to Bei­jing’s tourist at­trac­tions and which even­tu­ally led him to his friends and busi­ness part­ners — Luca Valente and Bran­don Ng.

“Our pas­sion for elec­tric ve­hi­cles is what re­ally brought all three of us to­gether, but it was one of my projects, Bei­jing Elec­tric Bike Tours, that helped so­lid­ify things,” Siy says.

Valente came across Siy in 2012 when he rented an elec­tric bike from Siy’s com­pany for a weekend. Valente soon found him­self in­ter­ested in the bike and kept ask­ing Siy for more de­tails about elec­tric bikes.

“We kept in con­tact as friends and oc­ca­sion­ally rode to­gether, but it wasn’t un­til EF Mo­tors that we ac­tu­ally had an op­por­tu­nity to evolve from friends to busi­ness part­ners,” Siy says.

Valente was born and raised in Brazil, and ar­rived in China in 2004 to pur­sue a ca­reer with a large aero­space com­pany in Harbin where he met his Chi­nese wife.

Af­ter he ob­tained an MBA at Che­ung Kong Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness in Bei­jing, he de­cided to set­tle down with his wife and be­gin a new ca­reer in the cap­i­tal.

Us­ing his back­ground in me­chan­i­cal engineering, Valente takes charge of struc­tural is­sues, sus­pen­sion and the cos­met­ics of EFM’s prod­ucts.

“He has al­ways been in­ter­ested in find­ing ways to make things bet­ter, sleeker and safer in any way pos­si­ble,” Siy says.

Com­pared to Siy and Valente, who have been in China for many years, Ng ap­pears to be “fresh off the boat”.

He ar­rived in Bei­jing in 2011 and went to Ts­inghua Univer­sity to im­prove his Man­darin. Ng has been keen on twowheeled ve­hi­cles for a long time. Af­ter mov­ing to Bei­jing, he found elec­tric bikes to be an in­spi­ra­tional method of trans­porta­tion and launched an online blog to write re­views on var­i­ous elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

It was Ng’s Bei­jing Elec­tric Bike Blog that led him to Siy and Valente and made their paths cross.

“With the In­ter­net be­ing so in­te­grated th­ese days, our paths even­tu­ally crossed and we be­gan talk­ing about how we may be able to take our elec­tric ve­hi­cle pas­sions to the next level, and EF Mo­tors was born,” Siy says.

While their elec­tric bike com­pany is a young startup and is cur­rently in its ini­tial stage, all three founders have an am­bi­tion to pro­duce world-class elec­tric bikes and con­sider it “a le­git­i­mate so­lu­tion to the in­creas­ingly con­gested cities and en­ergy-con­scious pub­lic”.

The com­pany’s first batch of elec­tric bikes are now in the sales process for a law en­force­ment depart­ment in South­east Asia.

“Elec­tric ve­hi­cles, put sim­ply, op­er­ate far more ef­fi­ciently than con­ven­tional gaso­line-pow­ered cars and mo­tor­cy­cles,” Siy says. “As such, they will ben­e­fit the en­vi­ron­ment if driv­ers and con­ven­tional mo­tor­cy­clists start us­ing them.”

Guo Xin con­trib­uted to this story.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A pas­sion for elec­tric ve­hi­cles brings Luca Valente, Bran­don Ng and Nathan Siy (from left to right) to­gether.

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