Meet Gogoro, The Electric Scooter Coming To A City Near You
Taiwanese startup Gogoro is making news today after four years operating in stealth, revealing an electric scooter designed for commuters along with a ridiculously ambitious plan to power it. You don’t plug the scooter in, like you would essentially any other electric vehicle in the world — instead, Gogoro has its sights set on user-swappable batteries and a vast network of battery swapping stations that could cover some of the most densely populated cities in the world.
The scooter has a range of about 50 miles on one battery with a Panasonic cell. But Gogoro has also created a unique system to supply riders with swappable batteries. The bike can hit around 60 miles per hour.
Yes, it may sound crazy, but no more crazy than paying a few bucks a gallon for gasoline, and it could be particularly convenient for urban dwellers. The Gogoro Smartscooter is one of many devices joining the Internet of Things, or everyday devices that are becoming smart and connected.
In densely populated cities, Gogoro will set up stations with about 10 batteries that are locked in a secure charging station. Those with scooters can go to the stations, pull a depleted green battery out of their scooter, and swap it for a fresh battery.
“With the world’s megacities at a tipping point in population density, pollution fallout and rapid expansion, it is essential that we reimagine the energy infrastructure and create a renewed mindset for change in tomorrow’s urban generation,” said Horace Luke, co-founder and CEO, Gogoro.
Gogoro is announcing the Smartscooter. It’s probably the coolest two-wheeled runabout you can buy: it’s electric, looks unlike anything else on the market, and incorporates a host of legitimately unique features. All-LED headlights and taillights with programmable action sequences lend a Knight Rider aesthetic. An always-on Bluetooth connection links into a smartphone companion app, where you can change a variety of vehicle settings. You can even download new sounds for startup, shutdown, turn signals, and so on; it’s a bit of an homage to the founders’ roots at HTC, in an industry where ringtones are big business.
The company hasn’t yet announced the price for the scooter or the subscription fee for the swapping service. It will disclose those later this year as it nears its launch.