The Tesla Of Scooters Is Driving Asia's Two Wheel Revolution
J Thoendell stashed this in Cars
Four years ago Luke and his former HTC colleague Matt Taylor set out to do just that. They left the corporate world and launched a startup called Gogoro that brings to bear design, technology and marketing experience also honed at Nike, Microsoft and HTC to create an electric motorbike called the Smartscooter. Debuting this summer in Taiwan, Gogoro’s bike is what you’d get if you mated a Vespa and an iPhone. With an electric motor equivalent to a 125cc engine, it accelerates to 30mph in 4.2 seconds and maxes out at 60mph, producing a futuristic whirring sound as air moves through the frame. You can open the trunk, start the motor and pick from 129,600 headlamp lighting combinations as well as custom horn sounds via Bluetooth from a smartphone app. Gogoro hasn’t decided on a price, but Luke says it would be in the $2,000 to $3,000 range of Honda and Yamaha bikes ubiquitous in Asia.
The Gogoro scooter would cost quite a bit more than a normal bike, given all its bells and whistles, but Luke has made it affordable through a clever business-model twist. Riders won’t own the batteries. Instead, they’ll pay a low monthly fee to swap portable batteries as needed from a network of charging stations. Batteries eat up a huge chunk of an electric vehicle’s cost. Luke plans to make the bike even cheaper, possibly with an eco-subsidy from the Taiwanese government.
Who knew there was such a huge opportunity to be the Tesla of scooters?
Riders not owning the batteries is clever.