It’s been a whirlwind year for Gogoro – since launching in January the company has rolled out a battery-swapping network in Taipei, sold 2,000 electric Smartscooters, and it recently raised $130 million in additional funding. But Gogoro’s next move could be its biggest yet: the company just announced plans to bring its all-electric scooters and energy network to Europe next year, starting with Amsterdam. I chatted with Gogoro CEO Horace Luke about what 2016 holds for the company’s future – find out more after the break.
Gogoro set out to revolutionize the way we use energy – and they’re rapidly making good on that promise. Since launching at the start of this year, the company has sold 2,000 Smartscooters and installed over 90 battery-swapping GoStations in Taipei. The stations enable Smartscooter riders to quickly and easily power up without waiting for a recharge – it takes just six seconds to swap in a fresh pair of batteries. According to Luke, Gogoro is a hit: the company sells 9 out of every 10 electric scooters purchased in Taipei (a 94% market share), and GoStations outnumber gas stations in some areas of the city.
As 2016 draws near, Gogoro is looking to expand. This past Friday it raised $130 million in funding from investors including Taiwan’s National Development Fund and Panasonic. (You may be familiar with the last bright-eyed startup that Panasonic invested in: Tesla Motors.) The funding will help propel Gogoro’s expansion to Europe – and the Netherlands is welcoming the company with open arms. “Amsterdam is widely considered a forward thinking global leader in smart city innovation and we are excited to be welcoming Gogoro to Amsterdam as a participant in Amsterdam’s Smart City Experience Lab and as Gogoro’s first European market,” said Amsterdam’s Chief Technology Officer Ger Baron.
Amsterdam famously has more bicycles than people – however traditional bikes don’t suit all types of commuters and the city is trying to cut down on four-wheeled vehicles since parking is in short supply. Scooters can fill the gap – and Gogoro’s smart, battery-swapping EVs offer an attractive solution.
In the first half of 2016 Gogoro plans to showcase its technology in Amsterdam’s Smart City Innovation Lab. It will also open a Gogoro Experience Center to familiarize customers with its offerings and business model. From there, Gogoro will begin deploying a network of Gostations and opening up scooter sales. Once the company establishes its European foothold, other cities are bound to follow – where will Gogoro go next?