Gogoro can’t seem to slow down these days, announcing expansion after expansion. The two latest major moves involve the company’s first retail expansion, which just launched in Tel Aviv, and a selection for Singapore’s first EV battery swap pilot.
Gogoro (Nasdaq: GGR), famous for its battery-swapping network that allows riders of its 90+ km/h (56+ mph) electric scooters to forgo charging, has already expanded across much of Asia.
Most of those have been partnerships that either see Gogoro’s batteries and swap stations used to power scooters made by other manufacturers like Yamaha and Yadea, or Gogoro’s own scooters used by commercial operators such as sharing fleets and delivery companies.
But over the weekend, Israel became the first country outside of Gogoro’s home of Taiwan to begin retail operations. Individual riders can now buy Gogoro’s electric scooters and subscribe to the company’s battery-swapping membership for a monthly rate.
The first international expansion of Gogoro’s consumer scooter and battery-swapping operations was made possible by a three-way partnership. Gogoro teamed up with the local motorcycle importer Metro Motor and energy company Paz Group. Metro Motor sells Gogoro’s scooters locally and provides service/maintenance, while Paz installs and operates Gogoro’s GoStation battery swap kiosks at its gas stations in Tel Aviv and the surrounding cities. There are currently 10 stations spread across the center of the country, with a total of 35 stations expected to come online by the end of the year. More than 150 stations are planned to be completed within four years.
While the scooters have a claimed 90-96 km/h (56-60 mph) top speed depending on the model, I took one on a test ride in Tel Aviv this morning and hit 104 km/h (65 mph) with a partially charged battery. I didn’t have a phone holder on my scooter though to check the GPS-confirmed top speed, so the speedometer might have been reading a bit high.
Suffice it to say though that the scooters are fast enough for any urban riding scenario, and I even took mine on the highway (hence the 104 km/h sprint).
The scooters get a manufacture-rated maximum range of 170 km (106 miles) at slow speeds, though the local dealer tells riders to expect closer to 100 km (62 miles) with more spirited riding.
Range isn’t really an issue though like it would be with most other electric scooters that have to be charged when the battery is low. Riders can simply pull into a swap station at any time, adding around 100 km (62 miles) of range in under 30 seconds.
Check out how easy it is in my video below showing my first ever Gogoro battery swap.
Electrek attended a combined Metro/Paz/Gogoro event hosted in Tel Aviv over the weekend to kickstart the launch, and Meital Lehavi, deputy yayor of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality, spoke to the crowd. Citing her own experience as a scooter rider, she explained the importance of two-wheeled vehicles in the city:
I welcome the arrival of Gogoro electric scooters to Israel, as they serve several significant agendas. First, two-wheeled vehicles are traffic-jam busters in an age of road congestion. Second, this is a breakthrough that heralds the transition into smart and green transportation through cooperation that will allow battery swapping at gas stations, turning them into venues for alternative energy supply.
The battery swapping that the deputy mayor spoke of is the key to Gogoro’s success, and a battery-swapping subscription comes with the scooters during setup. Riders get six months of free unlimited swapping when they sign up, then pay 129 shekels (US $37.84) per month for 1,000 km (620 miles) worth of battery swapping.
Based on the urban nature of Tel Aviv and its surrounding suburbs, it’s hard to imagine anyone outside of a food delivery rider using more than 1,000 km per month. But just in case, riders can pay a prorated amount for additional riding.
Metro has started with consumer sales but is also in discussion with commercial customers. Tel Aviv has proven to be a popular city for electric food delivery scooters, and Gogoro’s scooters could be ideal for such a role.
Instead of needing to return to a central location to charge, Gogoro’s scooters can continue operating all day with as many battery swaps as necessary.
Gogoro’s founder, chairman, and CEO Horace Luke also discussed the launch:
Gogoro is excited to be launching its battery swapping in Tel Aviv. We are focused on driving the mass market shift to smart electric mobility, and battery swapping is one clear path to solving a city’s mobility and energy demands in a safe, sustainable, and scalable way. As one of the world’s most innovative cities, the people of Tel Aviv can now embrace a new era in smart mobility innovation using Gogoro’s Smartscooters and battery swapping.
Metro Motor and Paz Group are two industry leaders in Israel, and together, we are introducing a new urban mobility experience that is smart, sustainable, and available to everyone. Customers in Tel Aviv can now purchase the high-performance Gogoro S2 ABS or the versatile Gogoro 2 Plus at Metro retail stores in the city.
Those two models, the Gogoro S2 ABS and the Gogoro 2 Plus, are the first two Gogoro scooters offered in the country. They have fairly similar performance specs of around 7 kW (9.4 hp) of power and top speeds approaching 90-96 km/h (56-60 mph).
The scooters start at around 17,000 shekels (approximately US $5,000), which puts them in line with other premium 125cc-class scooters. While more expensive than a budget scooter, Gogoro’s models offer higher-end components like Bosch ABS, keyless start with NFC, anti-theft, higher-security unlocking options of face ID, fingerprint ID or Siri voice command, a reverse gear for parking assist, liquid-cooled motors, and more.
In addition to the Tel Aviv announcement, Gogoro also announced that it was entering the Singapore market. The news came after Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) recently awarded Gogoro with a sandbox pilot to deploy and validate battery swapping as a means for next-generation smart mobility.
Via a partnership with Jardine Cycle & Carriage, Gogoro’s electric scooters and battery swap GoStations will be tested with food delivery services and delivery fleets in the country.
JC&C’s managing director for direct motor interests, Wilfrid Foo, spoke about the new partnership:
In support of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, we are excited to collaborate with Gogoro to introduce an innovative electric two-wheeler solution for our city-state’s green ambitions. We are confident that we are well-placed to accelerate the implementation of Gogoro’s best-in-class battery swapping solution by deploying our existing infrastructure to operate the GoStation network in Singapore.
Together with Gogoro, we are looking for partners in the delivery or logistics space that are interested in harnessing this potential and benefitting from this platform with us. Jardine Cycle & Carriage participates across the automotive value chain from manufacturing, distribution, retail to after sales in several Southeast Asian countries. With our regional network, we look forward to the prospect of facilitating opportunities for the penetration of electric scooters and battery-swapping stations in new markets.
The move sees Gogoro adding the Singapore market to its ever-expanding map of operations.
Gogoro’s scooters have been in operation in Germany for years through ridesharing programs, and have spent the last few years expanding into the Indonesian, Japanese, and Korean markets, with Indian operations coming soon.
Gogoro’s batteries can also be found in nearly 200 swap stations in China, where they power Yadea-produced electric scooters.
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