2018-01-08 | Editor:et_editor 3352 pageviews

Motorcycle Battery Stations Will Employ Gogoro Batteries

Following announcement by the Executive Yuan to ban fuel oil-powered motorcycles in 2035, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has unveiled plan to establish 3,310 motorcycle battery charging and swap stations within five years throughout Taiwan at NT$4 billion, which will employ Gogoro batteries and battery-swap technology as standards.

According to the MOEA plan, 90% of the stations will be for battery swap and 10% for battery charging, with 1,000 stations to be built by state-run CPC Corporation, Taiwan and the remaining 2,310 by private parties, which will be able to file applications starting mid-January. The government will subsidize4 50% of the costs for battery-charging stations, at maximum of NT$300,000 each, for which it will appropriate NT$2 billion budget for CPC and private investors each.

Despite existence of international standards for motorcycle battery charging and swap stations, dedicated battery swap stations have yet to be standardized. The MOEA has decided to designate Gogoro battery and its battery swap technology as the industry standards, citing its technology leadership, as a result of which other market players will have to contact Gogoro for licensing and pay royalties.

Presently, Gogoro boasts 85.1% share for Taiwan's existing 100,000 electric motorcycles and has built 500 battery swap stations since 2015, when it started to build such stations vigorously, at the pace of one every 1.8 days. The number of motorcycle-battery charging stations stands at 1,800 now.

Along with progress and cost reduction of battery charging technology, charging time is expected to be slashed to 20 minutes, down from two hours now, which will greatly stimulate the construction of charging stations. Existing building code has required reservation of charging circuits at parking lots and people can also set up charging devices at their parking spaces. Charging stations can also be erected at gas stations, bus/rail stations, and other public facilities.

Battery swap appears to be the trend on Taiwan's electric motorcycle market. Having accumulated 6 million battery swaps as of the end of last Sept., tantamount to reduction of 8,800 tons of CO2 emission, Gogoro plans to build one swap station every one kilometer in metropolitan areas.

It is, however, a costly project, for which Gogoro completed third round of fund raising, at scale of NT$9 billion, last year, boosting the accumulated amount to over NT$14.4 billion, all contributed by major enterprises worldwide. Horace Luke, founder of Gogoro, points out that via smart energy network and battery swap system, Gogoro, which has taken root in Taiwan, Berlin, and Paris, will contribute to the development of sustainable energy via a brand new approach.

(Written by Daisy Chuang; first photo courtesy of sese_87 via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)   

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