LAS VEGAS — Gogoro has come up with a smart electric scooter that runs on swappable electric batteries.
The scooter has a range of about 60 miles on one battery with a Panasonic cell. But Gogoro has also created a unique system to supply riders with swappable batteries. The bike can hit around 60 miles per hour.
It may sound crazy, but no more crazy than paying a few bucks a gallon for gasoline, and it could be particularly convenient for urban dwellers. The Gogoro Smartscooter is one of many devices joining the Internet of Things, or everyday devices that are becoming smart and connected.
In densely populated cities, Gogoro will set up stations with about 10 batteries that are locked in a secure charging station. Those with scooters can go to the stations, pull a depleted green battery out of their scooter, and swap it for a fresh battery.
“We’ll go in and deploy vending machines, and our job will be to make sure there is always a battery ready,” said Matt Taylor, cofounder and chief technology officer of Gogoro, in an interview with VentureBeat at the 2015 International CES, the big trade show in Las Vegas this week.
The Internet-connected charging station will have built-in theft protection so that a rider cannot take more than one battery at a time. The company hasn’t yet announced the price for the scooter or the subscription fee for the swapping service. It will disclose those later this year as it nears its launch, Taylor said.
Gogoro was previously in stealth mode, but it raised $150 million from investors including billionaire HTC founder Cher Wang. Taylor, formerly of HTC, co-created Gogoro with chief executive Horace Luke, the former Microsoft industrial designer who created the design for the first Xbox video game console.