Micah Toll – Sep. 11th 2018
Yamaha and Gogoro have both proven to be powerful forces in the light electric vehicle industry. Gogoro has a line of highly successful scooters based on their battery-swapping technology, and Yamaha just rolled their four latest electric bicycle models into shops in the US.
Now the two companies have announced that they will be joining forces on swappable-battery electric scooters, leveraging the strengths of both players.
The two companies made the joint announcement today, detailing a study they are undertaking towards initial collaboration in the EV market in Taiwan, where electric scooter sales have skyrocketed.
Gogoro’s home-town advantage in Taiwan has helped them become a powerhouse and secure a large portion of the local electric scooter market, especially compared to larger rivals.
Yamaha’s own history in motorsports has positioned the company as a storied brand that is recognized around the world.
The two companies hope to take advantage of their combined strengths to develop and market a new electric scooter designed by Yamaha and based on much of Gogoro’s technology, with branding and marketing largely handled by Yamaha.
According to Takuya Kinoshita, Yamaha Motor Company’s Chief General Manager of Motorcycle Business Operations:
“This collaboration with Gogoro in the Taiwanese market will not only increase the mobility options of our customers, but we believe that sharing leading-edge battery-swapping system enables embracing the challenge of creating a new mobility service market.”
Gogoro currently has around 750 battery swap stations in Taiwan for their existing electric scooters. Riders can simply pull up to a station, remove a fresh battery from the station and replace their existing battery. The batteries are small enough to handle easily, and scooters can use more than one battery to increase range and reduce the frequency of battery swap stops.
The scooters and their swappable batteries have been wildly successful in the densely populated Taiwanese market. Over the last three years, Gogoro has facilitated over 17 million battery swaps at their stations.
The company hopes that the combination of their battery swapping technology and Yamaha’s design skills and marketing reach will be a winning combo for the partnership. According to Gogoro founder and CEO Horace Luke:
“Gogoro was founded as an open platform innovator utilizing energy network infrastructure to spark the smart city transition in megacities. We are honored to collaborate with Yamaha to take a major step forward towards our goal.”
By comparison, Gogoro is a fairly young company, entering the Taiwanese market in 2015. Yamaha has had a presence in Taiwan since 1966, selling motorcycles under the Yamaha Motor Company.
Both of these companies have a lot to offer and to gain from this partnership.
Gogoro has developed a truly remarkable battery swapping platform. It’s being used around the world and is a model for success.
Yamaha is an established company with many decades of experience in designing two-wheelers that are not only effective – but actually loved by their customers.
By joining forces, we could see the scale of battery-swapping electric scooters grow much more rapidly. Today we’re talking about Taiwan. Maybe tomorrow we’ll be talking about New York, San Francisco or Pittsburgh, all of which have already embraced electric scooter/moped rental programs.
These kinds of industry partnerships can help fast forward development and adoption of two-wheeled EVs by putting the smartest people in the same rooms to give us all what we want: fun, effective and (hopefully) affordable light electric vehicles for city commuting.