Look! It’s a bike! It’s an EV! It’s an…e-scooter?
Its name is actually the Gogoro Smartscooter, a big energy-friendly scooter project headed by former HTC execs and designed to reinvigorate personal urban transportation. No Uber or mass transit for the intrepid Smartscooter users – they want control over their own vehicles and environmental sustainability at the same time. It may be a while before the Gogoro arrives at these shores, till then you may want to check out our choice for the best scooter for commuting 2019.
You won’t believe some of the smart features that are available in our electric scooter reviews.
The Gogoro Smartscooter is completely battery operated, but the charging stations are unique. Instead of plug-and-wait options, Gogoro is using a swappable battery model. Batteries are available at kiosks around an urban environment. Scooter-users will have an app that sends them an alert when they are running low on juice and shows them where the nearest kiosk is. They can pull up and swap out their dying battery (well, two batteries. actually) for a charged version via the encrypted network. The batteries themselves were designed by Panasonic. The kiosks are about the size of an ATM, so they can fit easily on a number of street corners without hogging too much space.
The Smartscooter is still finding its first wheels. Gogoro has selected the Taiwanese Taipei City as its first experimental public release. It’s probably a smart choice: Taipei has a famously high number of scooters on the street, with a 1:1 ratio of people to scooters, and the city is pushing its citizens away from gas-powered transportation and toward more sustainable methods, making the Smartscooter a winner in both the right place and the right time.
How the kiosk battery method will function in the real world is still uncertain, however – hence the slow start. Gogoro is hoping to provider around 100 riders with scooters for an early beta phase, then release the Smartscooter commercially to the whole city later in the summer. So far there is no firm word on pricing or later release dates.
The Gogoro Smartscooter is an electric scooter with a difference. This electric powered vehicle features a top speed of 55 miles per hour. Unlike with other electric bikes, you don’t recharge batteries. Instead, you head to the nearest battery swap station to exchange the two dying batteries for fully charged ones. The Gogoro app tells you when its time to head to the kiosk for a swap, and also informs you of the nearest swap station, which is a part of the Gogoro Energy Network spread over an urban area.
A single charge of this electric vehicle delivers battery life good for nearly 63 miles at a speed of 25 miles per hour. This distance, effectively the longest range, suffices to fulfill the urban commute requirements of many city dwellers. The Gogoro is powered by an 8.3 HP electric motor. Experience safe and sure braking, courtesy the synchronized braking system on these vehicles. The Gogoro is no slouch in the performance department; you can accelerate to 50 km/hour in 4.3 seconds.
The startup Gogoro was founded by Horace Luke and Matt Taylor in 2011. Last year, the vehicle was introduced in Taiwan under a government subsidy.