After a long wait, Gogoro's entry into India is confirmed but in, sort of, an unexpected way.
Gogoro is a reputed electric two-wheeler brand from Taiwan, primarily involved in making e-scooters. But perhaps Gogoro’s USP is its battery-swapping network. Just for reference, there are more Gogoro battery-swapping stations in Taiwan than there are fuel pumps. But Gogoro’s entry into the Indian market isn’t exactly straightforward. Let us explain.
Instead of importing its range of e-scooters to India and setting up a gazillion swapping stations, Gogoro is running a pilot project in partnership with Zypp Electric. If you haven’t seen delivery executives buzzing around town on those green e-scooters, here’s an introduction – Zypp Electric provides e-scooters primarily for last-mile deliveries, which are used by brands like Zomato, Swiggy, Amazon, Blinkit, Zepto, and more.
Zypp Electric has set up an entire ecosystem of roadside assistance and charging stations to make the ecosystem as fuss-free as possible for the rider, the businesses, and the end-user. But there are two small concerns. The first is charging. Given that there would be no time to waste for the rider, it wouldn't be a very good situation for all parties concerned, especially the rider, if every e-scooter would take hours to charge. This also affects the scalability, since setting up charging networks everywhere isn’t exactly cost-effective.
This is where Gogoro comes in. Battery swaps that take less than a minute instantly add 3 to 4 extra hours of riding time, while also reducing the space needed – since scooters will not need to be parked for charging. Setting up swap stations, especially ones like Gogoro’s, which are modular and easily scalable, is easier than setting up charging points. Gogoro will also provide scooters to Zypp Electric, which will be direct imports, and feature phone mounts with wireless charging and luggage racks for delivery boxes.
Now the question is – what does this mean for the market? Well, not much yet. Gogoro will use this pilot project to gather data for its artificial intelligence system. Based on this, Gogoro will get a much better idea of the challenges that are unique to the Indian market. This will also allow the firm to learn about riding patterns and where swapping stations can be set up.
Gogoro has also tied up with Hero Motocorp, and while there aren't too many details on the partnership, the result of the two coming together could be a Hero-branded e-scooter that either runs on Gogoro’s powertrain or just uses its battery and battery-swapping network. And if Hero’s partnership is successful, you can be sure that other OEMs won’t just stand and watch. At the end of it, we could, in an ideal situation, get to see a slew of OEMs using Gogoro’s battery-swapping ecosystem, which ultimately will benefit the end user. You can pick the e-scooter you want and still take advantage of (what could be) a quick, convenient way to stay charged.
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