Traffic is a painful reality for many Filipinos living in cramped and congested urban areas like Metro Manila. And then, there’s also the pollution and the hits our wallets take by rising gas prices and other transport-related fees. What could solve this issue? Globe Group, Ayala Corporation, and Gogoro Inc. are introducing a two-wheeled solution in the country with the launch of Gogoro Smartscooters and its battery-swapping pilot program.
The companies want to introduce Gogoro’s “smart, convenient, and accessible” electric two-wheelers to Filipino riders.
Gogoro in the Philippines
The launch event unveiled the first battery-swapping station at The Globe Tower. It kicks off a network of battery-swapping stations planned to be established initially in Metro Manila and eventually across the country.
Gogoro battery swapping platform and Smartscooters are planned for a fourth-quarter launch in Manila. There will be stations expected to pop up around central business districts in the area first.
They also announced the pilot program at Globe, where 70 employees will be the first to try the Smartscooters. They will test the system for two months starting in May and share insights on their experience to improve the customer experience once the e-bikes become available to the public.
What is Gogoro?
Gogoro was launched in 2011 in Taiwan, with the belief that electric two-wheelers are the way to go in densely populated areas. The company is known for its swapping system. Users can replace empty batteries at its swapping stations for full ones in seconds. This solution eliminates the need to find and wait at charging stations.
In addition to Taiwan and the Philippines, Gogoro also operates in China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, and Israel.
Horace Luke, founder and CEO of Gogoro, said the company is excited to bring the ecosystem to the Philippines. He said they are committed to replicating its success in Taiwan. Gogoro has 540,000 riders in its home country and has deployed over one million smart batteries at 12,000 battery-swapping stations. Gogoro riders have swapped more than 450 million total swaps, 400,000 per day, and Gogoro has saved over 627,000 tons of CO2 since launch.
What can we expect?
Gogoro, the Globe Group, and Ayala Corporation haven’t revealed much beyond the pilot program plans. The Gogoro Premium will be used for the pilot program, but we don’t know if we’ll see the other models at launch. (I want to see female-centric Gogoro Delight made by an all-female team in the company.)
Luke, who was present at the launch, won’t say how much the scooter will cost. But he and Globe Group President and CEO Ernest Cu promise to make it affordable and accessible for Filipinos.
They briefly talked about some of the intelligent features these electric scooters get. These Gogoro scooters can smartly detect weather changes to adjust how the two-wheeler handles on the road and offer power assistance when rolling out of tight parking spots. They can keep you updated on new safety features and have access to Face ID and digital-encrypted cards to ensure your scooter doesn’t get stolen.
According to the company, these scooters run on “hyper-efficient, water cooled” motors. The Gogoro Premium specifically runs on an electric engine that churns out 7kW and 196Nm of torque. It has 100/90 front and 110/70 rear, 12-inch Maxxis tires. And it weighs similar to a conventional 150cc scooter at 122kg. The Premium can reach 50 km/h in 3.7 seconds.
The other side of this equation is the Gogoro Network, its battery-swapping platform. This platform has to be widely accessible for these scooters to work. Luke also mentioned how being part of the network can help prevent theft.
When a user reports their ride stolen, the company can track the battery and lock its use. You can then pinpoint its location and potentially lead to who took it.
Will you be interested to try this out? Let us know your thoughts! We love innovations in the smart mobility space, so this Gogoro announcement is an easy shoo-in for Cool Tech of the Week!