- A Taiwanese company has made battery swapping work for its fleet of electric scooters.
- After announcing it’s launching in India, Gogoro has added China to its market targets.
- The expansion gives the startup access to some of the world’s biggest scooter markets.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
After spending the better part of a decade honing its radical approach to clean transportation in its home country of Taiwan, Gogoro Global is making good on its name — in a big way. Last month, the electric scooter startup announced it’s entering the Indian market through a joint venture with local motorcycle manufacturer Hero Motorcorp.
And now, Gogoro is going after China as well: Tuesday, it announced a JV with two-wheel vehicle industry giants DCJ and Yadea that will give it entry to a market that clocked more than half a million electric scooter sales in 2020.
The near simultaneous forays into India and China is a big bite to take for a relatively small startup: Since launching in 2015, Gogoro has put 360,000 scooters on the roads of Taiwan. But CEO Horace Luke said it’s time Gogoro went bigger.
“Throughout the last two years, we’ve been working with these partners to assess the market and business fundamentals feasibility, and it’s just the right time to launch in these two markets,” he told Insider. “The idea was really around making or creating a solution that’s going to solve for millions of people.”
But Gogoro isn’t just one more electric scooter maker in an increasingly crowded space. Its key feature isn’t the vehicle itself, but its system for keeping riders charged up. When a scooter’s battery runs low, the rider heads to a Gogoro kiosk, pops the depleted one in, and pulls out a fully loaded one.
This model not only solves the feasibility issue of drivers swapping their own batteries because of how light they are in comparison to car batteries, but it also cuts cost. In Taiwan, Gogoro operates more than 2,000 such charging stations; riders complete more than 200,000 battery swaps every day. For the Chinese market, DCJ and Yadea will develop scooters that are compatible with Gogoro’s swapping platform.
“Our system is really a turnkey solution that allows a partner to take it and commercialize in their country,” Luke said.
Luke and the Gogoro team believe that we are at a critical juncture in the development of sustainable electric mobility and the significance of cleantech in growing cities — and they have some big name backers.
“Asia’s most populated cities are beginning to adopt cleaner urban transportation systems for their millions of scooter and motorcycle riders by leveraging innovative electric refueling solutions like Gogoro battery swapping,” investor and former Vice President Al Gore said in a statement released by Gogoro.