“Tesla in Taiwan” aiming for contributing to society by supplying infrastructure
“Gogoro,” a Taiwanese venture company that sells electric scooters, is attracting attention. Venture capital established by former Vice President of the United States Al Gore, Panasonic and Sumitomo Corporation have invested in this company that sold a total of 160,000 scooters all over the world and came to be called “Electric Scooter Version of Tesla.”
Gogoro was founded in 2011 by an engineer who had worked at Microsoft and HTC and is now the manufacturer of the best-selling electric scooters in Taiwan. However, the company sees itself as a company that builds energy infrastructure on an open platform, not a motorcycle maker. Rather than aiming to expand sales of electric scooters, their mission is to solve social issues such as air pollution by supplying energy infrastructure.
And as a first step, Yamaha announced the “EC-05” electric scooter in June. Yamaha designed the electric scooter, and Gogoro was in charge of manufacturing. Although it is a scooter of Yamaha brand, Gogoro stations and smartphone apps are also available, so to speak, it is a scooter that “uses the infrastructure Gogoro provides in Taiwan.”
Currently, Gogoro is expanding its 24/7 charging station in cooperation with the Taiwan government. The number of stations has been increased to 1,300 in the country, which allows drivers to charge scooters every 1km in urban areas. Thus, Gogoro is steadily building its position as an infrastructure supplier in Taiwan.
Gogoro is currently also focusing on overseas expansion and has operations in six countries including Germany and France. In Japan, Yamaha has started a sharing service for electric scooters on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa in partnership with Sumitomo Corporation. They are aiming to expand into other cities in the future. You may see Gogoro electric scooters all over Japan in the near future.