The Gogoro e-Scooter Solves Mobility Problems with Smartphone Tech
Hundreds of companies around the world build scooters. Gogoro can certainly count itself among them, but the upstart Taiwanese firm—composed of numerous ex-HTC employees—is taking a more radical approach to the scooter market. The company has created its own electric scooter, and developed a game-changing new way to charge it. That new two-wheeler is called the Gogoro Smartscooter. It packs an 8.5-horsepower electric motor, can sprint from zero to 31 mph in 4.2 seconds, and can zip on electricity for up to 60 miles. It recently came on sale in Taipei for around $4,000 and charges not by plugging into a wall outlet, but by swapping a battery pack in-and-out at local charging stations. The length of that process? A claimed six seconds. RELATED: See More Photos of the 2015 Gogoro Smartscooter
For today’s e-bike and e-scooter riders, that fast-swap feature serves to eliminate much of the range and charging anxiety attributed to the new vehicles. With 76 GoStation battery locations situated strategically around Taipei, riders simply pull up, remove the batteries from the rear of their Gogoro Smartscooter, and slide in a new set. Users pay a monthly subscription fee, which allows for unlimited battery swaps.
To ensure that fully-charged batteries are always available at each GoStation, Gogoro monitors continually updating usage patterns, which tell stations when to fast-charge batteries in order to meet high traffic demands. This data is relayed in part by the Smartscooter itself, which analyzes riding behavior ten times a second, and updates that information to the cloud every ten minutes.
A Gogoro app is also available, which allows users to check battery availability at nearby stations, reserve a battery, and view driving statistics and information about their own trip—battery level, average speed, and service intervals.
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While the technology behind it is undoubtedly forward thinking, so is the Gogoro Smartscooter itself. The space-age scooter features a lightweight aluminum chassis, stunningly designed info screen, and adds an upmarket “Plus” option with more color choices and performance shock absorbers.
So far, the Gogoro Smartscooter and charging stations are only available in Taipei, however the company has said it wishes to grow the technology to more scooter-savvy markets in the future.
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