In the past decade, the e-mobility industry across the Asia Pacific has undergone huge developments with the region accounting for the largest share of battery manufacturing and sales globally. Sales of e-mobility in APAC have increased dramatically since 2010 with China leading in the field of electric vehicles not only across the region but worldwide.

Today, we are faced with the serious challenge of climate change and ever-increasing pollution is one of the leading causes of this global catastrophe. Last year, at the onset of the pandemic, we saw pollution levels go down significantly amidst global lockdowns and movement restrictions. This further solidifies the need for greener and more sustainable transportation options.

This is where startups like Tokyo-based RESC are stepping up. With a mission to work towards the realization of resilient smart cities with zero-emission, RESC develops an IoT battery platform for e-mobility and smart grid enabling battery sharing among users.

Revolutionising the e-mobility sector with IoT

Currently, all e-mobility vehicles are charged by plugging into electric plugs. In particular, delivery drivers have to wait for hours while batteries being charged or swap spare batteries multiple times in a day with each battery lasting just 30 to 40 kilometres. Other challenges and risks include batteries running out mid-delivery, high cost due to battery degradations, and chances of the battery catching fire due to overheating during long charging hours. With eCommerce booming, logistics and deliveries need to evolve too.

To help address these challenges, RESC offers battery sharing for e-mobility users. Through their app, drivers can check the travel distance accurately and find exact locations to swap batteries on their smartphones. Furthermore, these lithium-type, IoT-ready batteries are cassette-shaped, light and easily swapped at battery charging lockers that are automated and remote-controlled.

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RESC has also developed an IoT battery platform that comprises an ICT system, app, and prediction algorithms. This holistic suite of tech-enabled solutions enables battery sharing services eliminating challenges like battery run-out, long hours to charge, and the risks of over-heating or fire. One of the most unique features of the RESC platform is the battery management prediction algorithms that help accomplish more efficient battery charging and usage. Compatible with most e-mobility services, the RESC platform is also applicable to Smart Grid — an electrical grid which includes a variety of operation and energy measures including smart meters, smart appliances, renewable energy resources, and energy-efficient resources.

A host of energy services with sustainability at the core

In addition to the core offerings, RESC also provides a host of energy services. The battery charging lockers can work as an emergency power supply during typhoons or blackouts. Furthermore, the IoT batteries come with an optional inverter attachment that can supply AC power and hence, be used to portable power equipment. With sustainability at the very core of their business model and operations, RESC also appoints recycling agents who help renew used batteries, wherein degraded batteries are reused for stationary energy storage systems.

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In addition, the networked battery charging lockers and stationary energy storages systems can be combined together to provide a virtual power plant creating a smart grid.

“At RESC, we aim to build an IoT battery platform that helps us realise our vision of a smart city, which will be a city with resilience against natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons, has smart grids for efficient use of energy, relies heavily on renewable energy, and promotes e-mobility,” says Founder Daisuke Suzuki who comes from a background in Mechanical Engineering from MIT & an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Working towards making carbon-free energy a reality

When RESC started ten years ago, the Japanese market was not necessarily ready for IoT battery platforms. So, it was difficult to position the company’s ethos and convince investors. However, as the markets matured, key stakeholders started to realise the importance and scope of IoT, Big Data, and machine learning, and RESC was able to cement its position.

The Japanese government’s push towards digital transformation also helped push the business model. Founder Daisuke started off alone with a small team of engineers. Today, he has managed to find partners in other markets like China but still has a tight team of around seven people. RESC is ready to expand its team and operations and with the emergent trends inclining towards renewable energy and a surge in sustainability, they definitely seem to be on the right track.

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“Renewable and low-cost energy is what the world needed ten years ago and also needs today. When we were new and struggling to establish as a company, my passion for the environment and faith in sustainability kept me going and it continues to motivate me even now. If anything, I believe this is more pertinent today with health pandemics, global warming, and climate change plaguing the whole world. I want to make no-carbon energy a reality so we can have a better, cleaner, greener tomorrow,” says Daisuke.

The industry is ripe and ready for players like RESC. According to Statista, currently, the number of battery electric vehicles in use worldwide is 4.8 million, out of which 1.03 million were sold in the APAC region in 2019 alone. It would be interesting to see how this startup grows and expands across the region to make sustainability an everyday reality.

Find out more about RESC or connect with them here:

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This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by JETRO

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