By Tien Yu-pin and Frances Huang 2018/08/11
First picture source:CNA file photo
Taipei, Aug. 11 (CNA) Gogoro Inc., a Taiwan-based electric scooter company, has extended its reach to eastern Taiwan for the first time by opening two stores in Yilan City.
The electric scooter maker opened its first two stores in the region on Friday, and it is planning to open new stores in Hualien in September and Taitung in November.
To complement the new outlets, battery swapping Gostations will soon be opened in Yilan County in Yilan City, Luodong, Suao, Jiaoxi and Toucheng, and others will be opened in Hualien and Taitung later this year, according to Gogoro.
The new stations will make it possible for riders to travel around Taiwan on a Gogoro bike by the end of 2018, the company said.
The company used the Greater Taipei (Taipei and New Taipei) area as its major development hub when it launched the vehicle in 2015 and then extended its presence to Taoyuan before establishing outlets in Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung in 2016, to give it coverage in Taiwan’s six major metropolitan areas.
Starting from 2017, Gogoro opened outlets in Yunlin, Chiayi and Pingtung counties to broaden its distribution network to all parts of western Taiwan.
That network currently includes 732 battery swapping stations, and the company expects to have 1,000 Gostations in Taiwan by the end of the year.
Gogoro said it hopes the expansion of its network will give riders in Taiwan’s six largest metropolitan areas access to a battery swapping station with a five-minute ride or less.
According to Gogoro, 77 percent of its customers in the six major cities live within 2 kilometers of a battery swapping station (or about a five-minute drive), and the ratio will rise to 90 percent by the end of the year as the number of Gostations increases.
The company has sold 85,000 electric scooters in Taiwan since entering the market in 2015, according to Gogoro chief marketing executive Chen Yen-yang (陳彥揚).
It snatched a nearly 80 percent share of the electric scooter market in July alone with more than 6,300 units sold, further establishing it as the country’s leading electric scooter brand.
Gogoro has also set its sights on the overseas market, seeing the smog-choked streets of Southeast Asia as an ideal target market.
In March, the Ministry of Science and Technology included Gogoro in its list of the 10 “coolest tech startups” in Taiwan, which features new companies with the best cutting-edge technologies.