A new service in India isn’t just providing electric scooters; it’s also providing a way to swap out your battery for an instantaneous charge, Bloomberg reports.
Gogoro Inc. is a Taiwanese firm with big plans. On Dec. 12, chief executive officer Horace Luke announced the company would roll out 120 swap stations by mid-2024. The stations will be located in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, and Goa.
The company will also offer standardized CrossOver GX250 scooters. Since all the vehicles will be the same, they’ll have compatible batteries. Drivers will pull into a swap station, where their dead battery can be removed and a fresh one inserted. They’ll then drive off with a full charge, while the empty battery will be recharged for the next customer.
This service eliminates what is perhaps the largest drawback of electric vehicles. When an EV battery runs low, it takes time to charge — much longer than pumping a tank of gas. Newer fast-charging technology has pushed the wait time down, but there is still a lag.
Switching out the battery is much faster, so drivers don’t have to sit around at the charging station. This makes EVs practical for a wider range of drivers, which is great news for reducing air pollution and its accompanying harmful effects.
Another company in California offers the same service but for cars.
According to Bloomberg, Gogoro’s first round of scooters will be marketed to delivery drivers. By the second quarter of 2024, however, it will also offer them to everyday consumers.
This rollout is the first stage of an eight-year agreement with Belrise Industries Ltd., Luke announced in January. An investment of $2.5 billion is slated to set up between 10,000 and 15,000 battery swap stations during that time across the state of Maharashtra, starting with its 10 largest cities. Gogoro is also backed by Singapore’s state-owned investment firm, Temasek Holdings Pte.
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