First published in AMS business magazine. Author: Lauren Comiteau
Gogoro chooses Amsterdam
Taipei startup Gogoro, which offers space-saving, two-wheeled transport solutions via its electric scooters, chose Amsterdam as its pilot European city precisely because of its focus “on being a leading smart city and for its commitment to embracing innovation that transforms how energy is managed, distributed and utilised,” says Jason Gordon, Gogoro’s communications chief. To that end, the company is more than just a scooter business: it’s in the power and electric trade, producing smartphone-like charging stations (the GoCharger) and battery-swapping stations (the GoStation) that pull electricity from the grid when it’s less expensive and store it for later use. When the batteries age, they can be used to power buildings. In its efforts to transform highly polluted megacities into energy-efficient smart cities, Gogoro’s electric Smartscooter, launched in 2015, takes up less space on urban streets and, because batteries are already charged at swapping stations, charging time and precious charging space, is eliminated. Users can buy an energy subscription, and with a smartphone-like device, see where batteries are located, make appointments to swap them and even be alerted when their tyres are low. Gogoro has already claimed a third of the scooter market in Taiwan, and has big plans for Amsterdam.