Game Changing electric moped batteries spread through Asia., Electric Vehicle News Bitesize

Game Changing electric moped batteries spread through Asia.

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Every day, Aiden Lee travels around Taipei on two wheels along with thousands of other people.

But when most of his fellow riders head to the petrol station to refuel, he takes the electric scooter to one of Taiwan’s increasingly common battery swap stations — a technology whose creators say could speed up the shift away from fossil fuels.

If it weren’t for changing the battery — which is faster than filling up at the gas station, by the way — I wouldn’t be using an e-moped” said the marketing executive.

“I don’t think I have time to wait for the battery to charge.”

Lee has been using rechargeable batteries from Taiwanese startup Gogoro since 2015, making him one of the 450,000 users who swap an average of 330,000 batteries a day, according to company data.

That’s about 10 percent more than the monthly cost of buying petrol, he said.

Now with an eye toward regional expansion and a New York listing, Gogoro has more than 2,300 stops outside convenience stores or in parking lots across Taiwan, where e-bike riders stop by to swap drained batteries for freshly charged ones.

Game changing attempts to roll out battery replacements have proven tricky, especially for electric cars.

Companies in China, the U.S. and Israel have struggled to provide easily replaceable batteries for electric vehicles, in part because of the high cost of building charging facilities and the time it takes to recharge larger batteries.

But Gogoro founder and CEO Horace Luke said the technology is better for mopeds because the batteries and battery swap stations don’t need to be that big.

“Unlike the four-wheeler infrastructure that needs to be built, our system is effectively like a vending machine, going into different locations based on where consumers go and where they need energy,” he said.

The company says these facilities already outnumber petrol stations in four major cities in Taiwan, and vice president Alan Pan said at a news conference that the company’s 2022 goal is to “exceed the number of petrol stations across the island.”

Gogoro said that since 2015, the battery swapping has been used more than 240 million times, and it has removed about 360,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“We’re working on solutions…to create a new industry because the world is now focusing on sustainability and how to curb global warming and climate change,” Luke confirmed.

According to government sales figures, e-bikes make up 21 percent of all motorbikes in Taiwan, with sales of traditional petrol models in double-digit decline annually.

Through local partnerships, Gogoro is tapping into the world’s largest motorcycle markets: China, India and Indonesia — all of which have smog-shrouded cities, Luke said.

The company has partnered with top players in the industry, including India’s Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest motorcycle maker, China’s world-leading e-bike maker Yadea, and most recently, Indonesian ride-hailing company Gojek.

In China, its battery replacement system launched in the city of Hangzhou in October and plans to expand elsewhere this year.

The push could benefit from major government incentives for electric vehicles in Asian countries.

Last year, India rolled out $3.5 billion in incentives for the auto industry to boost production of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, while Indonesia offered tax breaks for manufacturers, transport companies and consumers.

Gogoro plans to list on Nasdaq in the first quarter of this year by merging with a special purpose acquisition company, creating a $2.35 billion entity.

Global sales of electric motorcycles, scooters and mopeds were expected to exceed 25 million units by 2020, accounting for 35% of total two-wheeler sales, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

When it comes to a game changing solution like battery swapping, according to market research firm Guidehouse Insights, “battery replacement has become a legitimate technology platform solution that is being exported to OEMs in foreign markets”.

It said in a report that Southeast Asian countries “with strong two-wheeler cultures, high urban densities, pro-electric vehicle policy frameworks and a strong desire to reduce urban air pollution are likely to follow”.

Luke added: “I think battery swapping is a real game changer, a real game changer.”

The question now is, will Battery Swapping for Electric Mopeds take off in North America, the United Kingdom and Europe or will people be put off by the idea of never owning the Battery Pack?

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Game Changing electric moped batteries spread through Asia., Electric Vehicle News Bitesize