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Taiwan Leverages ICT to Explore Global Electric Bus Business Opportunities


Growth momentum in the global EV market continues to strengthen as green energy and environmental protection gain traction. In order to take advantage of business opportunities while addressing battery power and supply bottle necks, traditional automakers and major tech companies are developing EVs, deploying charging stations, and establishing maintenance centers. James Huang, Chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA),believes that the global EV market will grow at an increasing pace as more countries move towards banning the sale of fossil-fuel vehicles between 2030 and 2040.“Faced with the EV wave, Taiwan manufacturers are more likely to find opportunities in electric buses than electric cars,” stressed Mr. Huang.

Taiwan lacks the support of manufacturing plants in the comparatively competitive car market, Taiwan cannot effectively compete with international rivals that boast a robust supply of key EV components for cars. Conversely , Taiwan already possesses many assembly plants and can utilize its ICT prowess to develop smart in-vehicle infotainment and safety systems for the electric bus market. Indeed, Taiwan could more effectively exploit market opportunities by orienting itself towards producing electric buses for both urban transportation and shuttle services/point-to-point transportation

Taiwan ICT companies can serve as SIs to build national EV production effort

Japanese and Korean manufacturers leverage major conglomerates as integration partners that pool domestic industrial resources for joint forays into overseas markets. Taiwan should endeavor to build a similar platform by assessing the resources and advantages of all its industrial manufacturers carefully and formulating complementary strategies that explore international markets.

Mr. Huang added that, “Taiwan excels at integrating ICT and three electric systems (battery systems, electric drive systems, and electric control systems). Electric buses will develop in the intelligent direction, which will lead to ever increasing demand for intelligent solutions such as driver behavior management, advertise mentand infotainment. Accordingly, Taiwanese ICT companies should position themselves as SIs that develop smart systems while partnering with manufacturers of batteries, motors, and other key EV components. This will enable these companies to offer complete EV solutions and attract potential overseas buyers.”

Consolidated services capture business opportunities in emerging markets

Mr. Huang thinks that Taiwan is not at the level of Germany or Japan in terms of battery and motor manufacturing technologies, but that it can adopt an innovative business model bolstered by high product quality and flexible pricing. Indeed, Taiwan can provide the most competitive smart in-vehicle system solutions and electronic control systems while offering key components in a variety of packages .Doing so would allow customers in emerging markets to select optimal combinations based on their budget and need and this would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to deliver customized products and services that attract new business opportunities using this strategy. For instance ,one bus manufacturer produces low-cost, small, and fast-charging batteries designed to reduce vehicle weight while augmenting operating efficiency. The company can access a market for small electric buses used in point-to-point transportation by pairing its batteries with diverse smart systems, after which these components can be assembled into complete vehicles.

Mr. Huang added that Advantech is experienced in designing and manufacturing industrial computers and IoT devices. Likewise, Advantech is capable of integrating the technological resources of Taiwanese vehicle and key component manufacturers. Advantech co-worked with TAITRA and won VinBus project in 2020 and start operation in Hanoi by end of 2021. Should Advantech cooperate with other Taiwanese innovators in the future — like RAC , Master, Trone ,TAV, Max Win, Chimei Motor Electronics —they would improve their competitive advantage while gaining new overseas markets.  

TAITRA is an important platform in the development of overseas markets for Taiwanese manufacturers. It actively matches business deals between manufacturers and overseas EV buyers while building connections between tech firms and traditional automakers in Taiwan. This helps jointly promote products and services from Taiwan’s EV industry in emerging markets.