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If you’ve ever been tempted by the idea of an electric scooter but put off by ‘range anxiety’ or swayed by those who claim that the technology just isn’t ready to support an electric transport infrastructure, Taiwanese company Gogoro may have the answer.
Rather than having to find a public charging point, plugging in and popping off for a coffee or lunch while you wait for your scooter to recharge, Gogoro have developed a system where you just roll up to a distribution point (GoStation), pull out your discharged batteries and swap them over with a pair of ready charged units. You can even reserve your batteries in advance to ensure that the charged ones are ready when you arrive.
The all-new 8.5bhp scooter has a claimed range of 100km (62 miles)* and a top speed of 95km/h (59 mph). The lithium-ion batteries were developed in partnership with Panasonic using the same cylindrical 18650 batteries used in Tesla’s Model S.
The scooter itself has 55 sensors constantly monitoring every aspect of the way you ride, how often you change your batteries, average speed, all of which helps optimize power usage, tuning your torque, even dimming lights when required. All these sensors sync with your Gogoro App which tells you where your nearest GoStation is, tracks your ride, maintains the scooter’s firmware and even lets you know when items require servicing.
The success of this project will all depend on setting up enough battery distribution points – Gogoro reckon that one per mile (in cities) will be required to make the system work – and the company are already in discussions with a number of cities about building this infrastructure. Although they are primarily targeting the youth market in urban areas of the developing world, Gogoro plan to have some presence in Europe and the USA.
Check out the Gogoro website for more information, videos and pics. This is definitely one to watch out for.
* 100 km range based on travelling at 45 km/h