Urban Transport

Gogoro's battery-swapping Smartscooter ready to roll in Taiwan

Gogoro's battery-swapping Smar...
Startup Gogoro has announced a pilot program for its Smartscooter and battery-swap network in Taiwan
Startup Gogoro has announced a pilot program for its Smartscooter and battery-swap network in Taiwan
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The Gogoro Smartscooter is impressive in itself
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The Gogoro Smartscooter is impressive in itself
Startup Gogoro has announced a pilot program for its Smartscooter and battery-swap network in Taiwan
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Startup Gogoro has announced a pilot program for its Smartscooter and battery-swap network in Taiwan
Startup Gogoro has announced a pilot program for its Smartscooter and battery-swap network in Taiwan
3/4
Startup Gogoro has announced a pilot program for its Smartscooter and battery-swap network in Taiwan
The Gogoro Smartscooter is impressive in itself
4/4
The Gogoro Smartscooter is impressive in itself

Taiwan-based startup Gogoro drew plenty of attention when it unveiled its Smartscooter at CES earlier this year. The thinking is that these electric two-wheelers will be ridden around urban centers and their lithium-ion batteries switched over at exchanges when they run out of juice. Though where and how exactly such a system could be implemented wasn't entirely clear, it is now one step closer to reality. The company has announced a pilot program to take place in Taiwan ahead of a launch this coming summer.

The Gogoro Smartscooter is impressive in itself. The sleek urban vehicle packs around 30 sensors inside to monitor things like gravity, shock and ambient light, synchronizing this information with ride data such as top speed and range and presenting it though an Android and iOS app.

But what the Gogoro team says will really set the vehicle apart from other electric scooters on the market is the Gogoro Energy Network, an exchange network made up of stations where Gogoro riders can switch over their depleted batteries for fully charged ones. This process is said to take only six seconds.

The Gogoro Smartscooter is impressive in itself
The Gogoro Smartscooter is impressive in itself

An ambitious plan to be sure. Between dealing with local governments and having enough infrastructure in place to make the system a viable commuting option, it will be a delicate balancing act. But Gogoro says Taiwan's capital city of Taipei will provide fertile ground for it to take its first steps.

"We wanted to launch the Gogoro pilot program in a market that has a strong track record of embracing innovation while also having a high concentration of scooters. Greater Taipei is clearly the ideal market," says Gogoro co-founder and CEO Horace Luke.

The pilot will see around 100 riders begin beta testing of Gogoro's vehicles around the city. To raise awareness, the company will also open what it calls the Gogoro Experience Center on Tuesday, aimed at giving locals the chance to drop in and learn all about the technology and its vision.

Source: Gogoro

5 comments
Freyr Gunnar
Not a bad idea… "Traffic Jam in Taiwan - All of them Scooters" www.liveleak.com/view?i=175_1405269739
GiolliJoker
Great! I've always believed that's the way to go for electric 2 wheelers: scooter and swappable battery. I'm glad somebody is really starting to pursue this path.
mhpr262
No home charging possible - stupid concept.
Will C
mhpr262: agree and disagree. Given it's for an urban environment where I think home charging is not practical, I don't see anything wrong with this - especially for some of the scooter-dense Asian markets. For me the issue is battery theft. If it's easy to swap out and without home charging (which to me means more security for the scooter by way of garage parking) does this mean battery theft will be a problem? On the other hand, maybe the scooter comes with a designer satchel in which you can carry your battery when you park it. :-)
The Skud
The world is still very much in a "build it (charge station) and they (electric vehicle) come" situation. As many people point out, it is no good selling battery powered machines without having many available places to recharge. Small enough / light enough - perhaps take it up to an apartment in the lift and run a power cord out to the hall, but still not that practical.