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Battery Swapping Means Growth for Gogoro

Taiwan-based scooter maker’s battery-swapping network tallies 325+ million swaps—around 340,000 per day.

Ray Chalmers

November 7, 2022

2 Min Read
Rather than plugging in a Smartscooter to recharge it, riders simply swap out depleted Panasonic batteries for fresh ones at a 'GoStation' for a monthly subscription fee.Image courtesy of Gogoro

What does a Taiwan-based e-scooter manufacturer have to teach the world about the battery business? A lot, apparently.

Founded in 2011, Gogoro launched its Gogoro Smartscooter in Taiwan in 2015, the same year it secured a $30 million investment from Taiwan’s National Development Fund and battery manufacturer Panasonic. By 2017, investments increased tenfold with $300 million in Series C investment money from Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and Japan-based Sumitomo Corp.

Gogoro Smartscooters are powered by what the company calls the G1 Aluminum Liquid-Cooled Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor. Sensors throughout the cycle collect data such as battery level and consumption rate, available to riders via Gogoro mobile apps.

Swapping by subscription

Central to the company’s growth is what it calls the Gogoro Energy Network. Rather than plugging in a Smartscooter to recharge it, riders simply swap out depleted Li-ion batteries for fresh ones at a GoStation for a monthly subscription fee.

According to the company’s website, Gogoro surpassed 500,000 subscribers in Taiwan this past August and has enabled more than 325 million battery swaps, around 340,000 per day. In addition, the company supports 10 other two-wheel vehicle makers so they too can use GoStations for battery swapping (“Powered by Gogoro”), accounting for more than 92% of Taiwan’s electric two-wheel refueling.

Global notice

The rest of the world is taking notice:

  • In December 2020, analysts Frost & Sullivan named Gogoro its 2020 Global Company of the Year awardee for its Swappable Battery Electric Scooter Market.

  • In October 2021, the Gogoro Network launched in Hangzhou, China, with 45 GoStations, since growing to 250 at present.

  • Last April, Gogoro and the world’s top two-wheel vehicle maker, New Delhi-based Hero MotoCorp, announced a strategic partnership to build GoStations and roll out battery swapping in India.

  • This past September, Gogoro said it was establishing 35 GoStations in Tel Aviv, in partnership with Israeli companies Metro Motor and Paz Group. Plans are to grow the network to more than 150 stations in the next four years.

Battery swapping for EVs?

While the Panasonic Li-Io cartridge 18650 battery is well-suited to the battery-swapping concept, the same can’t be said for the heavy, built-in batteries used in electric cars and trucks.

While some carmakers are considering bundled but easily detachable battery packs for delivery vans and light trucks, a recent article in The Economist noted that while battery-swapping ideas for cars do exist, most manufacturers foresee better-performing battery designs and an improved charging infrastructure as the eventual solution to charging speed challenges.

About the Author(s)

Ray Chalmers

Ray Chalmers is a Detroit-area-based freelance writer with an extensive background supplying technical features and news items on manufacturing, engineering, software, economics, and the myriad paths of knowledge representing human progress.

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