GOGORO—FUTURE IS NOW!!!
Recently unveiled at CES, the Gogoro Smartscooter could be the scooter of the future, perfect for urban commutes and travel. But what’s more interesting is Gogoro’s plans for a battery swapping infrastructure to support the vehicle and in the future, many more potential applications.
The Smartscooter has been built from ground up by Gogoro. It goes from 0-30 in 4.2 seconds, with a max speed of roughly 60mph. If both of the battery slots are full then you can expect a range approaching 100 miles. As such, it’s built for urban travel within dense cities.
They’ve designed and built a new battery using Panasonic’s 18650 lithium-ion cells (the same used in the Tesla Model S) which weigh around 9kg each and are packed with sensors.
The idea behind the battery infrastructure is that when you find yourself a “GoStation Hub” (using the smartphone app) you can pop in your used batteries for re-charging, but instead of having to wait for those to charge you can simply take ready charged batteries and be on your way again instantly.
A BluetoothLE keyfob locks and unlocks your scooter, opens your underseat storage, and identifies you at the GoStation hub. Many of the employees at Gogoro have come from HTC and so it’s no surprise to find that the scooter and batteries are packed with interesting tech. It’s connected to the cloud via cellular connection, with 30 onboard diagnostic sensors keeping track of pretty much anything that might go wrong.
You can also use the app to reserve a battery so that nobody takes the last one before you get there. It’s worth noting though that users never actually own the batteries (so you can’t take them home and charge them) and use them on a subscription basis only, although no price tags have yet to be announced.
The batteries are not just limited to the scooter either, you can daisychain them and use them to power a variety of electrical objects such as a leaf-blower. Although judging from the size of them, they won’t be used in any smaller DIY gadgets.
The future success of the idea relies on quite a lot. Firstly, they need enough GoStations Hubs to make the scooter worth it in the first place. The more uses that can be found for the batteries the better too. It’s difficult to tell if the market actually wants an electric scooter that you can’t charge at home but right now but it’s down to Gogoro to implement the idea in a successful way.