Gogoro, widely considered to be the global leader in battery swapping for light electric vehicles, announced today that it is officially launching operations in Israel. The move marks a major westward expansion by the electric scooter and battery swapping company, which has until now largely focused on dominating the Eastern markets.
Gogoro announces Israel launch
Gogoro (Nasdaq: GGR) has built its name not just on its electric scooters, but perhaps even more importantly, on its easy-to-use distributed battery swapping network that removes the hassle of charging an electric vehicle at home or work.
Both the company’s scooters and its GoStation for battery swaps will be coming to Israel, opening first in Tel Aviv this summer before expanding to other cities around the country.
Gogoro has joined forces with leading motorcycle distributor Metro Motor for sales of Gogoro’s scooters. Gogoro has also partnered with Paz Group, a leading gas and energy company, in yet another example of traditionally fossil fuel-based energy companies increasingly turning towards electrification alternatives. Paz will be responsible for operating the Gogoro Network of battery swapping stations around the country.
Those two companies were key to entering the local market, as Gogoro’s CEO, founder and chairman Horace Luke explained:
“We are excited to be launching in Israel, one of the most innovative and technology forward countries in the world to establish a new era of urban two-wheel mobility. We are partnering with two industry leaders Metro Motor and Paz, to bring Gogoro’s next generation battery swapping ecosystem to the Tel Aviv metro area this summer and additional cities in the future.
Gogoro was created to introduce a mass market shift to sustainable energy in densely populated cities by establishing an intelligent urban ecosystem that introduces a new refueling system for electric two-wheel vehicles. Today, Gogoro manages more than 350,000 battery swaps per day and since 2015 has exceeded 275 million battery swaps.”
Israel has long embraced two-wheeled electric vehicles, with e-bikes becoming a commonly accepted form of transportation as far back as a decade ago.
Major Asian electric motorcycle companies often launch operations in Israel before other parts of the Western world, with Tel Aviv dealers many times getting quick access to new models like the Alrendo TS Bravo electric motorcycle and the Sur Ron Storm Bee electric dirt bike.
Metro Motor has already gotten its feet wet in the electric space as the current Zero Motorcycle distributor in the country, and the chairman of the board of Metro Motor Gadi Aviram sees Gogoro as the next step to expanding its electric presence:
“We are proud to announce our collaboration with Gogoro and excited to begin marketing their innovative Smartscooters in Israel. The introduction of Gogoro into the Israeli market is excellent news for two-wheeler enthusiasts and is likely to be a significant growth engine for the company, ever deepening its presence in the electric two-wheeler market.
This new collaboration aligns with Metro Motor’s vision of constantly updating the standards by which they operate, maintaining the status as an industry-leader. We provide the public optimization of user experience, fashion, environmental protection, and affective economic package.”
A source familiar with Gogoro’s rollout plans has confirmed to Electrek that the company will begin with 10 GoStations in Tel Aviv at launch this summer, and will expand to 35 stations by the end of the year. Gogoro will initially focus on the greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area, with the expectation of expanding to new cities in the future.
The source also confirmed that the first two models of Gogoro’s Smartscooters to become available in the country will be the Gogoro S2 ABS and the Gogoro 2 Plus. Both models integrate seamlessly with Gogoro’s battery swapping network to offer a range of 170 km (106 miles) per battery swap (each scooter holds two batteries). Both models also include features like tire pressure monitoring and built-in storage.
The S2 ABS model offers a more advanced Bosch ABS braking and a low maintenance belt drive whereas the 2 Plus uses a synchronized braking system and a chain drive.
Both models feature power ratings of around 7 kW (9.5 hp) with liquid cooled motors and controllers to help reach speeds of around 90 km/h (56 mph).
Pricing for Gogoro’s scooters in the countries has not been announced yet, but the price tag should be helped by the fact that riders only purchase the scooter, not the batteries. In exchange for the lower entry cost, riders pay a subscription fee each month for the ability to swap batteries. The pricing should be much lower than the comparable operation cost of a 125cc gas-powered scooter.
Unlike most electric motorcycles and scooters, Gogoro’s Smartscooters don’t require home or work charging. Instead, the distributed GoStation network makes it easy for riders to simply swap out their batteries when necessary via a subscription service. The swap takes just a few seconds, instead of hours for a home charge.
The system has been demonstrated with immense success in Gogoro’s domestic market of Taiwan, where over 465,000 Gogoro riders make use of over 10,000 battery swapping GoStations spread across 2,185 locations. The Gogoro Network hosts 350,000 daily battery swaps in the country and has seen over 275 million total battery swaps to date since 2015.
The battery swapping stations are so robust that they can even be used during power outage emergencies to feed stored energy back into the local grid, and have successfully powered themselves during nationwide power outages in the past.
The company has continued to update its batteries and their capacity, even launching a prototype for solid state swappable batteries that drastically increase capacity, longevity and robustness. Even so, the company’s battery design has remained backwards and forwards compatible. The first batteries from the company’s start in 2015 still work in today’s Gogoro scooters.
This is of course big news for riders in Tel Aviv – a city where residents are racing toward electrification but suffer from a lack of home charging options due to the high rate of apartment dwellings. But it’s also huge news for fans of Gogoro everywhere that have been waiting for word of the company’s international expansion plans.
So far Gogoro has expanded into major Asian markets like China, India and Indonesia but has yet to set its sights on the West. Now that appears to be changing.
We unfortunately don’t yet have any solid information on when Gogoro scooters or GoStations could be coming to Europe or North America. But the expansion into Israel bodes well for other Western countries that have been chomping at the bit to make use of Gogoro’s highly popular network of scooters and swap stations.
Yalla, kadima! Let’s go!
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