They are up to 130 stations in greater Taipei by this year, including 21 sites at MRT stations, that certainly is far more than a beginning and well on the way to a comprehensive network.
gogoro.com/tw/gostation/ (BTW I think their website is crap in terms of functionality…hopefully their apps are a lot better).
Instead of guessing let’s compare to petrol stations.
CPC, the largest provider of petrol for vehicles, has 57 in Taipei City, Formosa Oil only has 4 stations in Taipei city…others…maybe 10 most? Gives us 57-67 stations in Taipei City. So that’s already significantly less than Gogoro. But gogoro can add stations at about 1 million a pop (from 100’000s NTD to millions NTD according to scale and site). They should be able to build out by a huge factor cheaper than petrol stations especially for the last mile as petrol stations need a relatively huge minimum investment to justify them opening. In fact I would say it’s almost impossible to open a new petrol station in Taipei City these days due to pollution and safety and neighborhood concerns. Not only this, but maintenance costs and personnel and regulatory costs will be a factor less than petrol stations. If one site is not working they just move it somewhere else without any major hassle presumably. If they need to plug in gaps that appear in the network that can also be achieved more rapidly to reflect demand.
So Gogoro already has a more comprehensive network in Taipei city, cheaper to operate and maintain and one that is actually able to react to changes in demand. This year it should also increase significantly in number again. If one added the ability to charge at home or in a coffee shop, the convenience factor goes up by a factor of 1000x! The problem should ultimately not be in the charging infrastructure network that is for sure (they still need to do more work in New Taipei City obviously since more people live there than in Taipei City). The problem is reaching a price point that is accessible to more riders (good progress with gogoro lite but still expensive monthly charging for many). I think there is latent demand there for a nicer and cleaner and more stylish ride, it’s economics that’s getting in the way.
They don’t need to build a national network because people don’t drive scooters on highways and expressways, most people are just driving a few kms here and there or 10s kms at most a day.
I agree that they are making very little impact on air pollution and will not for a long time because take up is limited to higher earners even in Taipei. My hope is that other companies will come in with cheaper competitive products once gogoro demonstrate there is a market and that this will help to speed up changeover to electric vehicles (think expensive iPhones versus cheap but good quality Androids). Ultimately it’s the city governments that are the problem by not mandating stricter emissions rules in the cities. This is by far the most effective policy, anyone interested can check the story of Tokyo’s emissions controls. As a regular visitor to Tokyo, I can attest to it’s excellent air quality compared to all other Asian metropolises that I have visited. Blue skies and white clouds are not a rarity in Tokyo.
japanprobe.com/2012/11/13/ho … -up-tokyo/