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Aruba, January 6, 2015 - Start-up targets 'megacities' with Smartscooter and battery packs that can be changed by hand in seconds
Battery-swap technology may have failed to take-off with electric cars, but one start-up says it has found a way to make the innovative business model work for scooters.
Gogoro yesterday unveiled its Smartscooter at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, detailing how the vehicle can travel more than 60 miles without recharging and reach 31 mph in 4.2 seconds.
But rather than plugging in the scooter to recharge as is the case with most electric vehicles, Gogoro is looking to develop battery swapping infrastructure that would allow customers to change a depleted battery for a fully charged pack in a matter of seconds. The batteries are small enough to be changed by hand and can be reserved in advance via an app, which also alerts owners when the scooter needs servicing.
The Smartscooter will go on sale this year and will be targeted at rapidly growing urban populations, particularly in Asia. However, the company has yet to reveal how its pricing structure will work.
"With the world's megacities at a tipping point in population density, pollution fallout and rapid expansion, it is essential that we reimagine the energy infrastructure," said Horace Luke, co-founder and chief executive of Gogoro, in a statement. "Our products and business model will impact a variety of consumer areas to create a metropolitan ecosystem with better connectivity, easier access to energy, and a more enjoyable urban living experience."