Gogoro announced on May 26 its new service program of Gogoro 360, and proposed 5 major promises by summarizing the issues and consumer feedbacks from the past six months. The company will also invest heavily on customer service, as well as update on maintenance and APP functions, in order to provide continuous and comprehensive services for its users.
The Gogoro press conference had a pristine atmosphere, where all executives were present although it was just proposing new services, and the usual flamboyant style was no longer seen, which was replaced by a potential apology.
Gogoro had been surrounded by numerous negative news for the past few months due to the incessant battle regarding the option between fossil fuel and electric scooters, and now the company has made an official response in regard to all complaints made by its users for the past six months.
“Our client base had rapidly increased for 50% over the past year, and these sales have introduced numerous challenges to us”, commented Gogoro CEO Horace Luke, who also expressed that there are not many automotive manufacturers that grow in such speed like Gogoro, and that the company has summarized a number of defects through data, as well as proposed the Gogoro 360 program that would elevate the service content for its users.
Gogoro 360 consists of 5 major promises: battery swapping, maintenance, client support, technical upgrade, and product quality; more specifically, the program is implemented to respond to the 3 most common complaints made over the past six months:
- Unable to receive fully charged batteries from the charging stations
- Prolonged latency in reservation and maintenance
- Unresponsive customer service
Locations and Upgrades of Battery Swapping Stations
Generally speaking, Gogoro has accumulated nearly 300K of users since its debut in 2015, and the sales in 2019 accounted for almost half of the total sales, which has resulted a shortage in logistics resources, and the most prominent issue lies on the inability to receive fully charged batteries.
Gogoro states that there are roughly 1,600 battery swapping stations in Taiwan, of which the figure will increase to 1,900 by the end of the year based on the initial objective, and that programs regarding super battery swapping stations and GoStation 3.0 will also be implemented simultaneously to resolve the battery issue.
“Each battery swapping station takes about 6-10 months to construct, and we have discovered that our location expansion project subsequent to the rapid growth of sales in 2019 had not been able to catch up to the enhanced number of Gogoro users until the beginning of this year, though the issue is gradually improved as we speak”, expressed Gogoro. The company also commented that 50% of users from Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Taoyuan City are able to obtain fully charged batteries during peak hours on weekdays, and the ratio increases to 80% on holidays, which will improve as the power grid expands.
▲ Gogoro will be expanding its super battery swapping stations and GoStation 3.0 this year to an expected total of 1,900 units. (Source: Gogoro)
60 units of enlarged Super GoStation will be completed by the end of the year, with software already constructed on approximately 22 units that are waiting for TPC’s approval on the power application procedure before going online. The quantity of GoStation 3.0 that provides 21700 battery cells is also on the ascension by providing 38% of current service power in all power grids, and the version 3.0 battery can provide 10% additional driving distance to that of the previous versions, which reduces the frequency of battery swapping for users.
In addition, Gogoro also recommends users to utilize the APP on checking the battery distribution map as the utilization rate may be lower for some of the new battery swapping stations upon going online, and that the usual stations may take a while to swap batteries. A more frequent visit to the map will facilitate a better user experience by locating battery swapping stations with a green indication (full battery).
Elevation in Customer Service Energy and Reduction in Maintenance and Waiting Time
Likewise, the logistics support has been manifested with breaches after the substantial increase in users. The Gogoro customer service remained at 90% for its pick-up rate before 2020, though the figure has been declining at a rate of 3-4% each month this year, and has been reduced to merely 50%, where the waiting time for maintenance reservation has also been extended to 17 days.
Gogoro commented that the company has expanded its recruitment of the customer service team since the beginning of the year, and has been improving the disposal capability of the smart customer service. The company claims to have pulled the pick-up rate of the customer service back to 70%, and aims to elevate the figure to more than 90% by July.
▲ Prolonged maintenance time is a common issue amongst numerous Gogoro users, for which the company has expanded the recruitment on maintenance personnel in order to resolve this problem. (Source: Gogoro)
Although the expansion of service locations has been implementing as scheduled, it has not caught up to the speed of sales and growth in clients, which leads to prolonged maintenance time, and there are more than half of users from urban areas who have to wait for more than two weeks before receiving maintenance at the plant.
Gogoro has promised to increase investment in the logistics maintenance center, and expand the recruitment of maintenance engineers in addition to location expansion. The new service center consists of more than twice the service energy than that of the previous one, and aims to reduce the waiting time of maintenance reservation to within 7 days.
Each service center reserves 30% of service energy for emergency, thus users will not have to reserve upon any urgent maintenance needs since it is only required for those who need regular casual maintenance, which reduces the waiting time on the spot.
Will Facing These Problems Actually Solve Them?
Gogoro has accumulated 1.8 billion km of driving distance, 100 million times of battery swapping, and had released 3 systems, 4 frames, and 10 models from the past 5 years, while also collecting a considerable amount of issues and user feedbacks under a rapid growth and intensive updates. Now that the company has summarized these problems, it will be a while before seeing if such approach will resolve the users’ issues.
The two major issues for Gogoro right now are (1) the exorbitant price after the revoking of the subsidy, and (2) the slightly high monthly fee for partial users. Although Gogoro 360 promises to offer better customer services, which may further satisfy existing users, its future growth will be arduous.
(Cover photo source: captured by TechNews)