BY SUSAN SUN NUNAMAKER · SEPTEMBER 17, 2016
Gogoro smarscooter & its charging station (credit: Gogoro)
Dear Friends & Neighbors,This is a Special Edition (Windermere Sun usually does not post on weekends), celebrating the National Drive Electric Week 2016.
In light of the National Drive Electric Week 2016, I’d like to repost this article from one of our sister publications, Sun Is The Future, from about a year ago and update on the company of Gogoro. Gogoro now has sales over 10,000 and take a look at its GoStation and GoCharger.
Above is a video filmed in the city of Taipei, Taiwan, one can easily see that it is a place with the highest scooter density in the world. The city of Taipei is in a basin that traps all the air pollution produced by high levels of petrol motorcycle emissions. In recent years, whenever I visit the beautiful island of Taiwan, I often wonder when most of their scooters will transition into electric transportation mode, for this would help to dramatically reduce the amount of air pollution in the city and on the island. Of about 15 million scooters on the island (of approximately 23 million inhabitants), only 122,500 scooters are electric.
During my trip to Taipei, Taiwan, in 2015, a Taiwan-based startup, Gogoro, unveiled its Smartscooter at the Consumer Electronics Show. Smartscooter is a slick, battery powered motor scooter that can be monitored via a smartphone app. Gogoro is the brainchild of former HTC employees who made a major contribution to that company’s success in the smartphone market. Gogoro CEO Horace Luke was originally HTC’s chief innovation officer and Gogoro chief technology officer Matt Taylor was originally HTC’s chief technologist.
The Gogoro Smartscooter is an electric scooter designed for urban transportation. It’s powered by an electric motor developed by Gogoro, which is marketed as the G1 Aluminum Liquid Cooled Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor. Instead of plugging into an outlet to recharge, the Smartscooter runs on swappable Panasoniclithium ion 18650 batteries.
The company states the following figures for the Smartscooter based on internal testing:
- Top speed of 95 km/h (about 60 mph)
- Acceleration of 0 to 50 km/h in 4.2 seconds
- Maximum torque of 25 Nm @ 0-2,250 rpm
- Maximum horsepower of 8.3 hp @ 4,000 rpm
- Range of >100 km when traveling at speeds of 40 km/h.
The Smartscooter’s sensors collect information such as speed, battery level, consumption rate, system failures, and scooter falls. This information is presented to riders via Gogoro mobile apps.
An attractive feature in Gogoro’s efforts is its Gogoro Energy Network of stations such that subscription paying customers will be able to swap batteries in seconds. According to Horace Luke, the Smartscooter and the Energy Network will interact: the batteries include several sensors and a near field communication chip that can talk to the battery-swapping stations. A station would recognize the bike and associated account when a rider pulls up; it would then open up a spot for the spent battery and unlock a fresh battery. The rider would lift up the seat to swap the battery (weighing about 20 pounds). It takes about 6 seconds to swap a battery.
The Gogoro Energy Network is a modular battery swappinginfrastructure designed to be deployed across an urban region. Riders would be able to swap out depleted batteries at a network of kiosks called GoStations for a monthly subscription fee. The Smartscooter is the first vehicle to be integrated into the Gogoro Energy Network.
One important point the Gogoro engineers forgot to mention: an electric engine will definitely have a much longer life expectancy (probably 2x or 3x as long) than an internal combustion engined vehicle due to far fewer moving parts. This will ultimately enable the Gogoro Smartscooters to have a much longer useful life.
With the right kind of deployment, incentives and policy, Gogoro will potentially be the most innovative vehicle since Tesla…and certainly will have tremendous impact on enhancing cleaner environment. Perhaps there could be a collaboration between Gogoro and Tesla to upgrade these charging stations into solar charging stations, then the island of Taiwan will be even more assured of its position as a beautiful and clean island, ready to receive millions of its tourists each year (be sure to stay for 2 videos for a good look of Taiwan…Enjoy :).