Gogoro Gears Up For Launch Of Battery-Swapping Electric Scooter

NOV 30 2015 BY MARK KANE 15

Gogoro Smartscooter

Gogoro Smartscooter

Gogoro, after a successful rollout in Taipei, enters Europe with its Smartscooters (see description), which are equipped with swapable lithium-ion batteries.

Sales of Smartscooter will begin in Europe next year and thecompany intends to launch a battery swap network.

The first market will be Amsterdam in early 2016.

Range of the scooter is up to about 60 miles (nearly 100 km), but if you have several places to change batteries, then you are basically free of range anxiety.

Of course, using the battery swap stations require membership and a fee for renting batteries, but we didn’t spot the detailed offer yet.

“Gogoro, a technology company transforming how energy is distributed and managed in megacities, today announced it would launch its Gogoro® Smartscooter™ EV and Gogoro Energy Network in Europe in 2016. The European rollout follows Gogoro’s successful commercial rollout in Taipei this past summer. The announcement was made at the international motorcycle and scooter show in Milan Italy, Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo e Motociclo e Accessori (EICMA).”

“As part of its expansion, Gogoro will be opening a Gogoro Experience Boutique in Amsterdam in the first half of 2016 and additional cities later in 2016. The boutiques will provide hands-on and highly interactive experiences for consumers to learn about the Gogoro Smartscooter™ EV through a curated gallery demonstrating Gogoro’s craftsmanship, technology, style and personalization.”

Horace Luke, co-founder and CEO, Gogoro said:

“The greatest challenge of our time is determining how we manage, distribute and experience energy in smarter ways. Many European cities are embracing innovation and new business models to drive a more efficient and flexible energy future. This is why Gogoro is expanding into Europe in 2016. The Gogoro Smartscooter™ EV and Gogoro Energy Network were designed to ignite this urban transition and Gogoro is working closely with Amsterdam and other European cities to make the transition to a new energy infrastructure a reality.”

“The Gogoro model is new for many and when people get to see, hear and experience it, they have the ability to understand the potential in terms of their personal transportation and the positive global impact they can individually have.”

Ger Baron, CTO at the City of Amsterdam said:

“Amsterdam is widely considered a forward thinking global leader in smart city innovation and we are excited to be welcoming Gogoro to Amsterdam as a participant in Amsterdam’s Smart City Experience Lab and as Gogoro’s first European market. Electric transport is not only the future, but happening right now. The next wave of innovation is the integration of electric vehicles into the energy grid, EV charging and storage will be part of the energy-internet. Gogoro is now bringing scooters to the 21st century and connecting them to the smart energy ecosystem.”

Gogoro Smartscooter

Gogoro Smartscooter

Gogoro Smartscooter battery swap station

Gogoro Smartscooter battery swap station

Gogoro Smartscooter

Gogoro Smartscooter

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15 Comments on "Gogoro Gears Up For Launch Of Battery-Swapping Electric Scooter"

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I had already read about the Gogoro Smartscooter in 2014. Nice to see that they really have come so far in actually not such a long time. And it’s also nice to see that they are starting in The Netherlands. I could go to Amsterdam and try it out (not that I go to Amsterdam very often).

“not that I go to Amsterdam very often”

It’s funny that you mention that 😉

“Range of the scooter is up to about 60 miles (nearly 100 km), but if you have several places to change batteries, then you are basically free of range anxiety.”

Heck! Who drives more than 100 km on a scooter???

EV enthusiast in China

I live in Beijing. 100km is easy for commuters that need to get from point A to B without running into traffic. 100km could easily allow someone to travel from one side of the city to the other without having to get on a packed subway or stuck in traffic.

Beijing would be a great city since it’s hard to find a public charging socket unless you bring your battery out of your scooter already or bring your charging cable and charge at work. Most scooters get around 40-60km of range

No one drives 100 km on a scooter in Europe… most of those things are limited to 45 km/h (not a very clever decision) with city speeds of mostly 50 km/h where everybody drives about 55 km/h. So you get the problem. But they would sell great if someone could lobby a +10 km/h rule for all electric scooters in the EU. Lobbyists anywhere?

Btw. you can also charge the batteries at home, right? Taking them in you condo instead of the whole scooter may be a plus too.

Nope. That is the one thing about this scheme that makes it only suitable for urban environments. You cannot charge at home. You can only swap. Period. There is DRM on the batteries and the scooter. The kiosk also verifies that you have inserted a valid battery before it spits out a fresh one for you.

Thanks for the info Mike!

I smell a giant “Better Place”-like failure. People are already avoiding the Renault battery-rent-only thing, though it can make sense in a financial way not to own but lease a rapid developing tec like batteries.

With batteries you even can’t charge by yourself – good luck Gogoro!

Didn’t better place fail due to 1. High capital cost for building stations and 2. Lack of range for cars?

Point 2 is clearly resolved here. I also read in a new York Times article that it only costs 10k USD to build a station, so it seems point 1 is also resolved.

I think 100 km in Amsterdam is really a lot. You can drive to rotterdam or utrecht in 100 km. So swapping stations should be also in other cities otherwise I don’t see the point over charging like other EVS.

I like this concept but I think it would be even better if the scooters themselves were shared too. As I understand it you’re supposed to buy a scooter yourself and then use battery swapping for “fuel”. Instead you could have a model where you release two battery packs from the machine, pick any random scooter parked around the machine and when you get to your destination you put the batteries back in the machine and then you are charged for the time they were in your possession.

WOW, that sounds like a pretty good idea! I wonder if they will think of doing that.
For scooter riding in Amsterdam I think the Dutch AppScooter would be a better fit. Simply because they don’t require a motor license

With a 60 mile range, why aren’t U.S. drivers commuting on scooters instead of one small person per each huge SUV? We have to stop the oil and car companies from running our economy…they are doing a lousy job by overselling SUV safety protection by fear mongering.

Because these Scooters essentially don’t:

1. Go fast enough for legal use on many freeways

2. Protect you from the wind, rain, snow, etc.

3. Protect you from a crash, the way a large vehicle would

Another downside of the proprietary nature of this particular scooter (and the world if full of scooters to compete with this), is how they limit your control over being able to recharge the battery (fuel).

Lack of home charging means this is DOA in the consumer market.

Speaking as a motorcycle owner, unless there’s an option to buy the batteries and a charger, this will eventually fail. Not quickly, but eventually.