How a Taiwanese scooter startup cracked battery swapping and leasing to make going electric easier – and cheaper Leave a comment

  • A Taiwanese electric scooter startup is bringing its battery swapping model to China and India.
  • The startup’s model not only skips charging wait time, but also cuts the cost of the vehicle.
  • Gogoro’s CEO spoke with Insider about how he developed a new battery ownership model.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The most expensive component of electric vehicles are the huge batteries it takes to power them, and that’s true no matter how many wheels you’ve got: The batteries that make an electric scooter go account for about 40% of the cost of the vehicle. That creates a cost barrier for potential buyers, especially since the battery loses value as its performance drops over time.

A Taiwanese electric scooter startup believes it has the solution: When a customer buys an electric scooter from Gogoro Global, she doesn’t buy the batteries. She instead pays a monthly fee for access to Gogoro’s battery swapping network, exchanging depleted power packs for fresh ones at the ATM-sized stations installed around town.

Swapping with Gogoro’s Flex pricing means the driver pays a fixed rate for unlimited usage. A rider pays between $10.78 to $43.24 per month.

“By removing the battery, we get to stay more competitive,” CEO of Gogoro Horace Luke told Insider. “The battery [is] a subscription, something you sign up for. And through the usage of that per month, you pay for it.”

A Gogoro scooter itself costs from $2,161 to $2,886, depending on the model (local subsidies drop the price a bit). And with similar subsidies in China and India – markets into which Gogoro is now expanding – the pricing should stay relatively low. The startup recently embarked on two joint ventures, one with Chinese industry giants DCJ and Yadea, and another with two-wheel EV titan Hero Corp in India.

The Gogoro mission is simple: to maximize the impact and effect of technology on society without burdening it and grab a larger market share in the two-wheel EV market. The battery swapping model does just that for drivers’ time, by not forcing them to wait to charge, and the drivers’ wallet.

“We have to delight the customer in an amazing way and surprise them through [our] technology,” Luke said. “And we’re eager to put that into China, India, and the rest of the emerging world.”

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