Sep. 23rd 2019
Gogoro has pretty much set the world standard for how battery swap stations for electric scooters should operate. But that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped innovating. The company just unveiled new, larger battery swap GoStations along with a number of other fascinating announcements. Check them all out below.
Gogoro’s new GoStations
Taiwan-based Gogoro electric scooters rely on the company’s GoStations to swap out discharged batteries for fresh packs. There are over 1,000 such GoStations across Taiwan, helping Gogoro maintain nearly the entire market share of electric scooters in the country. In Taipei alone, riders are never further than 1 km (0.6 mi) from a battery swap station.
Now Gogoro is announcing a new design for its ubiquitous battery swap stations. The new stations, known as the GoStation 3, offer up to 50% more batteries than the previous version and yet reduce the physical footprint required by the station.
The station can actually power itself off of some of its batteries in the event of a power interruption. It can apparently continue operating without a power source for over two and a half days.
And in the event of power outages, the station can operate bidirectionally to help power urban microgrids and keep critical systems running in a city.
And more even bigger GoStations
As if that wasn’t enough, Gogoro also announced even larger GoStations known as Super GoStations.
The giant battery swap stations can retain as much as 200 kWh of energy. That’s enough to support up to 1,000 riders in the area, according to Gogoro.
Gogoro will be rolling out the Super GoStations immediately and plans to have them in six different major cities by the end of 2019.
New Flex Plan makes battery swaps surprisingly cheap
Gogoro also announced its new Flex Plan pricing structure. While riders were previously charged by the kilometer for the subscription-based electric scooter service, the new Flex Plan will see them charged by the Ah, a unit of measure of battery capacity. This means riders are more accurately charged for the energy they use.
The Flex Plan will cost TWD $299 (US $9.60) per month for the subscription and another TWD $2.30 (US $0.07) per Ah used.
That means cost per distance will vary based on riding style and speed, but a rough ballpark would put it at around 20 km (12 mi) for one US dollar at city speeds. That’s not bad.
It also rewards those who drive more efficiently and don’t have a lead foot -errr, wrist.
If you weren’t already a Gogoro fan, it’s hard not to be swayed over by now. Not only are their electric scooters pretty awesome (50 mph or 80 km/h on a cute little two-wheeler!) but the battery swap system is super convenient as well.
Gogoro isn’t the only game in town, mind you. Kymco also has a battery-swappable electric scooter swap system known as Kymco IONEX. But the company hasn’t gained much market share compared to Gogoro, who appears to be running away with the show.
Now my question is this: Why can’t we get something like this in the rest of the world? The US and Europe could really make use of a system like this in dense cities. It’s high time that we get our own electric scooter battery swap stations. Even the US, which has been a notoriously hard market for scooters to penetrate – gas and electric alike – is finally embracing electric scooter and moped sharing programs.
So I hope that Gogoro is ready to expand soon to the rest of the world and share this awesome system, or that some other company will follow Gogoro’s lead and give the people what they want: Swappable battery electric scooter systems!