Taiwan-based electric scooter (e-scooter) maker Gogoro Inc. unveiled its plan “Energy Grid 2.0” at a media event on 27 March. The company announced that it is going to upgrade its battery swapping stations to include a 48-hour power supply and introduced a mobile charger for its e-scooters. The improved battery swapping station, known as GoStation 2.0, together with the mobile charger, called GoCharger Mobile, represent an evolutionary change for Gogoro scooters. These solutions allow the next-generation of Gogoro scooters to enjoy the benefits of both battery charging and swapping options.
Gogoro has seen steady growths in its operation over the past three years
The media event, which was held in celebration of Gogoro’s third anniversary, also offered some highlights of the company’s performance since its founding in 2015. Chen Yen-Yang, Gogoro’s marketing director, listed the following facts: Gogoro scooters are now owned by more than 60,000 people; the cumulative distance that Gogoro scooters have traveled totaled more than 200 million kilometers, or equivalent to circling around the Earth 5,000 times; and total battery swaps by Gogoro users have topped 10 million, averaging more than 32,000 swaps per day.
Currently, Gogoro has more than 520 battery swapping stations around Taiwan, mostly located in the western part of the island. In terms of coverage, as much as 74% of Gogoro scooter owners can find a GoStation within a five-kilometer radius. A GoStation uses the off-peak period for battery swapping to charge up the batteries that it holds, so users of Gogoro scooters can always obtain fully charged batteries during the busiest time of the day.
Chen also addressed the skepticism on the role of e-scooters in reducing carbon emissions from traffics. Chen pointed out that according to the available data, traditional fuel cars need an average of 6.4 liters of gasoline to travel 100 kilometers. The fuel consumption during this 100-kilometer trip also generates 15 liters of carbon dioxide. For the same distance, traditional fuel motorcycles use an average of 3.4 liters of gasoline and produce eight liters of carbon dioxide. As for e-scooters, a conversion of their energy consumption into fuel economy performance reveals that they need only 0.7 liter of gasoline to travel 100 kilometers and create just 1.6 liters of carbon dioxide over the distance.
Gogoro shows off its “Energy Grid 2.0” strategy
At the media event, Horace Luke, Gogoro’s cofounder and CEO, presented his company’s latest charging infrastructure plan dubbed “Energy Grid 2.0”. Specifically, the plan includes the deployment of big data and artificial intelligence technologies to analyze the battery swapping activities of e-scooter riders. By having a greater understanding of the traffic behaviors of e-scooter riders, Gogoro will be able to find solutions that increase the efficiency of GoStations. The entire charging network can also be optimized to serve its users at the right time and in the right place.
Luke was also at hand to show off GoStation 2.0. This upgraded version of the battery swap station was designed on account of the massive blackout that hit large parts of the island on 15 August 2017. That incident not only affected millions of households and businesses but also stranded riders of Gogoro scooters as they could not find charged batteries for their vehicles. On the surface, GoStation 2.0 is not much different from the previous version. However, its internals have been improved systematically and in terms of specifications. The most important enhancement is the power bank that allows the station to operate autonomously for 48 hours.
Luke also announced that Gogoro is working with filling stations and convenience stores to develop “Super GoStations” that can provide more batteries and other valuable services. Partners in this project include CPC Corp., FamilyMart Co. Ltd., and 7-Eleven Inc. Additionally, Luke said that the GoStation network will expand to eastern Taiwan before the first quarter of 2019.
At the end of his presentation, Luke mentioned that there is an underuse of the more than 3,000 public charging stations across Taiwan. Therefore, his company has added a charging socket to the latest Gogoro 2 series. This oval socket, which is located next to the battery storage under the seat of the Gogoro scooter, has not been officially revealed until this media event (though it has been there since the unveiling of Gogoro 2 models). The charging feature is required to work with GoCharger Mobile, a charging adapter that is compatible with the common 110V outlet, and the cloud-connected Gogoro app for smartphones. A quick one-hour charge will allow a Gogoro 2 scooter to travel 15 kilometers. A six-hour charge will fill up an empty Gogoro battery up to 82%. The supplementary of GoCharger Mobile results in a hybrid power system that accepts both battery swap and charging technologies.
Right now GoCharger Mobile is on preorder sale for TWD 2,980, down from the original price of TWD 3,980. This includes the charging adapter head but excludes the installation cost. The preorder will commence on 30 April. It should be noted that having a GoCharger Mobile does not exempt the Gogoro owner from paying the monthly battery rental fee.
Further details on Gogoro scooters, GoCharger Mobile, and GoStation 2.0 can be found on the company’s official website or by contacting its representatives.
(This article is an English translation of news content provided by EnergyTrend’s media partner TechNews. The credit of the photos also goes to TechNews.)