HO CHI MINH CITY -- A web of new ATMs -- of a sort -- is popping up in Vietnam's cities. Instead of cash, these boxes dispense batteries for electric motorbikes. The startup behind it hopes the system will save enough time and money to win over Southeast Asians driving the region's 240 million gas-guzzlers.
Selex Motors, backed by the Asian Development Bank, said its bikes cost less than $1,000 because buyers do not pay for the batteries upfront. Instead they use a network of automated lockers to swap batteries when power is needed, paying as they go -- essentially battery ATMs.