Gogoro electric scooter


#261

[quote=“wereldomroep”]Just picked mine up on Saturday. The reasons for buying were the design and considering the technology involved the price is not to bad. If you look at the Tesla when that came out. It was also more expensive than it is now.

Now Gogoro is entering the Dutch market this year, but the price will be lower than Taiwan. This has to do with government policy on electric vehicles. Taiwan does not have a new energy policy and I doubt they will come up with one anytime soon.

At the moment they account for 5% of all new scooter sales in Taipei. This is very good considering Taiwan does not have an infrastructure in place for electric vehicles.[/quote]

This is simply not true, there are rebates available of around 20,000 ntd per vehicle which is very substantial.
Now that is not to say that a greater impact wouldn’t be made if they allocated parking spaces to electric vehicles only, or banned motor vehicles from certain areas, or levied higher emissions fees.


#262

[quote=“finley”]There’s a speed restriction?

Something to do with licensing or registration maybe?

Most electric scooters aren’t ‘restricted’, they’re just slow because they’re underpowered, or don’t have a proper powertrain (hub motor instead of the usual CVT).[/quote]

All other electric scooters in Taiwan come with regulators that limit their speed to under 40kph. Many people know workarounds to disable them, but it is considered an illegal act. This was apparently implemented because of lobbying by the ICE scooter companies. Somehow, Gogoro is not affected by the law. Maybe that means the end for all, but not necessarily. I am talking about scooters, not electric bicycles.


#263

Looked at them, look like a nice unit, but will wait until workarounds are in place for the battery exchange BS, should be able to charge at home…


#264

[quote=“headhonchoII”][quote=“wereldomroep”]Just picked mine up on Saturday. The reasons for buying were the design and considering the technology involved the price is not to bad. If you look at the Tesla when that came out. It was also more expensive than it is now.

Now Gogoro is entering the Dutch market this year, but the price will be lower than Taiwan. This has to do with government policy on electric vehicles. Taiwan does not have a new energy policy and I doubt they will come up with one anytime soon.

At the moment they account for 5% of all new scooter sales in Taipei. This is very good considering Taiwan does not have an infrastructure in place for electric vehicles.[/quote]

This is simply not true, there are rebates available of around 20,000 ntd per vehicle which is very substantial.
Now that is not to say that a greater impact wouldn’t be made if they allocated parking spaces to electric vehicles only, or banned motor vehicles from certain areas, or levied higher emissions fees.[/quote]

This is the killer. Reckon for the paid parking spaces in the city (the ones where they check your license plate number and leave a sticker) electric bikes should be exempt. Taiwanese think with their pockets.


#265

[quote=“nicacio”][quote=“finley”]There’s a speed restriction?

Something to do with licensing or registration maybe?

Most electric scooters aren’t ‘restricted’, they’re just slow because they’re underpowered, or don’t have a proper powertrain (hub motor instead of the usual CVT).[/quote]

All other electric scooters in Taiwan come with regulators that limit their speed to under 40kph. Many people know workarounds to disable them, but it is considered an illegal act. This was apparently implemented because of lobbying by the ICE scooter companies. Somehow, Gogoro is not affected by the law. Maybe that means the end for all, but not necessarily. I am talking about scooters, not electric bicycles.[/quote]

Any legal references for this? I’ve never heard of it. I still reckon it’s more likely to be just a design limitation - I’ve never seen anything yet with a >1.5kW motor (and therefore drive electronics to match) which wouldn’t take you much over 40kph.

I don’t see how it would be possible to work around since it would be a deeply embedded feature in the firmware, not some little component that you can snip out.


#266

[quote=“finley”][quote=“nicacio”][quote=“finley”]There’s a speed restriction?

Something to do with licensing or registration maybe?

Most electric scooters aren’t ‘restricted’, they’re just slow because they’re underpowered, or don’t have a proper powertrain (hub motor instead of the usual CVT).[/quote]

All other electric scooters in Taiwan come with regulators that limit their speed to under 40kph. Many people know workarounds to disable them, but it is considered an illegal act. This was apparently implemented because of lobbying by the ICE scooter companies. Somehow, Gogoro is not affected by the law. Maybe that means the end for all, but not necessarily. I am talking about scooters, not electric bicycles.[/quote]

Any legal references for this? I’ve never heard of it. I still reckon it’s more likely to be just a design limitation - I’ve never seen anything yet with a >1.5kW motor (and therefore drive electronics to match) which wouldn’t take you much over 40kph.

I don’t see how it would be possible to work around since it would be a deeply embedded feature in the firmware, not some little component that you can snip out.[/quote]

Electric BICYCLES are limited to 40kph. They’re a different category from electric scooters.


#267

Electric Bicycles are limited to 25kmph and 200 watts of power. 200-1000 watts of power and up to 45kmph is a class of vehicle under 50cc engined bikes which require licence plates, a licence, and a helmet to operate.

[quote=“Bu Lai En”][quote=“finley”][quote=“nicacio”][quote=“finley”]There’s a speed restriction?

Something to do with licensing or registration maybe?

Most electric scooters aren’t ‘restricted’, they’re just slow because they’re underpowered, or don’t have a proper powertrain (hub motor instead of the usual CVT).[/quote]

All other electric scooters in Taiwan come with regulators that limit their speed to under 40kph. Many people know workarounds to disable them, but it is considered an illegal act. This was apparently implemented because of lobbying by the ICE scooter companies. Somehow, Gogoro is not affected by the law. Maybe that means the end for all, but not necessarily. I am talking about scooters, not electric bicycles.[/quote]

Any legal references for this? I’ve never heard of it. I still reckon it’s more likely to be just a design limitation - I’ve never seen anything yet with a >1.5kW motor (and therefore drive electronics to match) which wouldn’t take you much over 40kph.

I don’t see how it would be possible to work around since it would be a deeply embedded feature in the firmware, not some little component that you can snip out.[/quote]

Electric BICYCLES are limited to 40kph. They’re a different category from electric scooters.[/quote]


#268

I test-rode a Gogoro at Carrefour last weekend (they’re selling them at Xindian and a few other Carrefour branches).

It was nice to ride and very smooth and quiet. On ‘Sports Mode’ the throttle is very sensitive and the acceleration is very good. If it’s too sensitive you can use ‘Smart Mode’ which is energy-saving. The brakes are also more sensitive than I’m used to.

They don’t feel as small as they look, but still a bit smaller than I’d like. But it’s not like your knees are up at chest or anything, they just feel a bit light if you’re used to riding a bigger scooter.

The guy answered the question I had by telling me that you do need to do all repairs and maintenance at one of their branches. Tires cost 1200nt though, so they don’t extort you on that or anything.

Oh yeah, rebates are 26,000 or something for Xinbei.


#269

There are a couple locations in Taichung now, so I checked one out today. There are three models right now: Gogoro Lite, Gogoro, Gogoro Plus. The Lite doesn’t seem that great. It seems like a good idea to go with the standard one. It comes with assisted backing (like reverse, but much slower; useful for pulling it out of a parking space) and an under-seat charger for your cellphone. Other benefits are front and rear disk brakes and a 2-year warranty–regardless of how many kilometers you have on it.

That’s about it, though. I told the salesperson my wife was interested in one and asked what he would say to convince someone to switch from a 100cc to a Gogoro. The number one reason he said was because it was environmentally friendly–which I thought was a good point. I asked him what the second reason is. He said you can customize the appearance. That made my heart sink. If that’s the second-best reason for owning one, might as well not buy one until they improve upon it.

To me, the big drawbacks are the proprietary battery (more on that below) and the bluetooth. Until they get those batteries being used by others, it’s still a risk for anyone buying a Gogoro. 1.) The company could go bankrupt and abandon its users. 2.) They can sucker people in now, then, because there’s no competition, charge whatever they want later. If one gas station closes or decides to increase their prices, I can just go down the street and get gas at another station. Not so with Gogoro. Also, there is still no provision for in-home charging. They want you to go to their stations. That’s their angle, and they don’t seem to want to relent on that, which makes me suspicious.

I’m also worried about the always-on bluetooth. I view that as unsafe from a hacking point of view. Some of the best, most sophisticated, most careful companies in the world have been hacked. It would be extremely naive for them to think they won’t be.

The scooter itself is small, but not exactly light. It is designed for two riders, but they’d have to be pretty small–say, a woman and a child. It felt a lot like sitting on my wife’s 100cc. If I sit on the Gogoro, there’s enough room for me, but there wouldn’t be enough room for my wife behind because of my height (180cm). If she sat on the front, I could probably sit behind her. However, she would never want to drive around the city in heavy traffic with me on the back if we ever had to double. At least with her 100cc, she can fit on the back with me on the front.

There is one final thing. The scooter only goes 100km if you drive it at 40km/h. Not even my wife drives that slowly. I asked him how far it would go if I were to drive it at 70km/h. He refused to answer that question–and rightly so, because it would be breaking the law, and he can’t discuss that for legal reasons. I get that. But that’s not what he said. He asked why anyone would ever drive it that fast. He said there are no roads with a speed limit that fast. I pointed out that the road to Sun Moon Lake had a higher speed limit. That thought never even occurred to him. I asked him if the website hosted a discussion forum. He said it did, but for owners only. I asked if anyone on there ever mentioned how far their scooters went at higher speeds. He said, no, no one ever discusses that. They only talk about where they went and how much fun they had. Eventually, he very quietly mumbled a reply about how far, hypothetically, it could go at higher speeds, but he didn’t like having to say it out loud. For his sake, I won’t say the number here, but it is in line with some of the speculation I remember reading about in this thread.

The only thing that did make me feel good about my visit today is a casual comment he made about their batteries. He said they’re actually a battery company, but they’re looking for opportunities to showcase their technology. This scooter is only one idea they have, and it was the easiest one to bring to market. That actually gives me some confidence that they’ll look for partnerships with other scooter manufacturers, as well as a host of other ideas beyond scooters. The only slight damper he put on this was when I said I’d have more confidence in their stability as a company once they do have some partnerships in place. He said I’d have to wait years for that. That didn’t strike me as a highly motivated company.

All of this is just the fundamentals. I didn’t even test ride one. No matter how good the ride is, there are still too many red flags for me. Right now, they seem to be for the upper-middle class who can afford to throw away almost NT$100,000 and not bat an eye at the risk of losing it. It’s also a scooter for women. There, I said it: it’s girly–no two ways about it. Other than the acceleration, there is not one drop of masculinity in it. Not many guys are going to be interested in pimping one of these out, let alone riding to the girlfriend’s house to take her to a KTV. It’s not great for doubling or taking into the mountains. It’s designed for short commuting trips at lower than average speeds. The battery situation has no clear plan for market longevity. I’ll keep my eye on this thread for new developments, but they have some improvements to make.


#270

I’ll buy when they come up with a model that isn’t so feminine and has a decent seat for two people.


#271

No real disagreement, except that it does well at high speeds, it really does. You can feel that if you do a test drive. Also, I’ve seen a couple of youtube videos of it doing well at speed in hills.

That said, no, it’s not designed for long trips, daytrrips in the mountains etc. It quite specifically is designed for riding around town.

As for the seat, that is one of my biggest reservations. I’ve seen ‘normal sized’ Taiwanese couples riding around, and they seem fine, but stick one larger than average person on, and it’s not comfortable.

I don’t have a problem at all with the batteries. I think it’s a good business model, and I’d find it much more convenient than home charging.

That said, although very tempted, I’m not QUITE ready to go Gogoro when I have to replace my old clanger. If they put out a bit of a bigger model, I probably will. Or if I decide I’m rich enough to have two bikes. As it is, I’d still need a bigger bike with a longer range for trips up into the hills or for when my wife was on the back.

But I do think they’re very suitable for a lot of people, and getting very close to being what I want.


#272

Oh, it can go fast. Problem is it is also quiet. Too quiet. Both thinsg together are problematic. The neighbor has threatened to make puree out of Bobby and me on that blasted contraption several times because of that.

I guess they can make a really cool model like the bigger red plate ones, but again, they need to push marketing and see if ther eis a demand for that. And insurance. A quiet lightbolt snaking throogh mountain roads. Problematic, indeed!

I hope I do not get to see 6 people and a dog in a Gogoro. That would be a blasphemy.

I think they should aim for the delivery ones, the cool models with incorporated storage like the ones in Japan. That would be the perfect market.


#273

My problem with the batteries isn’t with the rather novel concept of swapping them, it’s the proprietary aspect of the technology. It’s like Lightning vs. USB. I’d feel less vulnerable to whim, deceit, and financial instability if I knew there was a consortium of like-minded businesses behind it.

But, yes, this thing has potential. They just have to be a bit more focused on the customer.


#274

Pay $80,000 upfront so that you can pay a further $800 per month plus commit to doing any maintenance or repairs with the company only, as they freely set the prices and can change them at will. Sounds just to good to be true… for the company to be able to pull this off. But what makes me admire them even more is that they got the government to subsidize this wannabe monopoly scheme while across the strait, electric scooters that can be recharged and repaired anywhere sell for 1/4 of the price. I guess it’s a rhetorical question to ask why these competitors’ products cannot be bought in Taiwan?

And the elephant in the room is of course that, whether fuel-, electric- or fart-powered, these are still scooters and that scooters serve as the primary means of transport in Taiwan’s densely-populated urban areas is a scathing indictment of the government’s inability to organize public transport properly.

If they’re going to subsidize that, why not subsidize buses, MRT, and YouBike instead to create a monthly flat-rate travel pass. This, alongside some bus routing improvements, would quickly show how many scooters really have to travel daily on the streets of Taipei, where the population density is nearly 10,000 people per sq km.

But no, let’s just use the taxpayers’ money to subsidize the most expensive and proprietary electric scooter ever conceived, while simultaneously preventing any competition from obtaining market access, to facilitate yet another rent-seeking strategy on behalf of the usual suspects.


#275

The government already subsidizes youbike and all the buses and also the trains. Not sure about the Taipei MRT.
Taichung city government basically provides free bus transportation.
I think the government should charge for scooter parking in particular though and stop them parking on most pavements.
Local governments offer incentives for all electric vehicles I believe?


#276

Yeah, they do but with poor return on investment due to the short-sighted pay-per-ride pricing structure, and the tendency is to move towards running everything on a purely commercial basis: Ke Wenzhe of all people seems to be a proponent of that. Yet this completely disregards the positive externalities an increased share of public transport commutes would bring. Nowadays the buses are mostly for students, elderly people, and middle-age women. But what if everyone could, for a flat fee of say $1,000 per month, take all the public transport without any further fees? Once people subscribe to this, there’s an incentive to switch to using it as much as they can as each additional ride is already free. This might sound like a revolutionary idea but it isn’t, and has been proven to work elsewhere. The prevalence of “all you can eat” restaurants suggests this model would fit very well with the money-conscious culture and get a lot of scooters off the streets, reduce traffic congestion, decrease air and noise pollution, making Taipei more livable for everyone.

This too, as well as allowing parts of the city to electively become scooter-free, which would start an avalanche with areas such as the Xinyi Planned District immediately applying for it, and the “green” zone then gradually spreading out. In parallel, increase taxes on the most polluting and noisy scooters, and offer public transport discounts to those who scrap them. But the carrot first and then the stick.

Or, let’s just forget it all and instead have a government-underwritten private monopoly on electric scooters that can barely seat two people but cost nearly what a car should. Taiwan up!


#277

Considering that anything like that in Yilan will take forever to show up, what are some decent eletric scooters/motorbikes available in taiwan? I only know Sym and E-moving.


#278

In collaboration with Sumitomo, Gogoro is apparently getting set up in neighbouring Ishigaki, with test usage starting in March 2018:

Guy


#279

The government already subsidize petrol scooters. I posted previously a quote from a professor of Civil Engineering at NTU who said scooter riders pay 40% of the actual total costs they should pay. Which is total insanity.

I would prefer more money thrown at mass transport and proper cycling infrastructure. Im Ok with subsidies for EV. Subsidizing petrol scooters and cars is next level stupidity and laziness. At least get these things out of the 騎樓。

We can only believe in Mayor Ko. For all his problems, he is the only one in Taiwan willing to take flak to do the right thing. Only hope is new politicians come up following his spirit


Ko Wen-je
#280

The first time I went to Penghu in 2012 the standard rental scooter was electric. The battery could be exchanged for free at any of the 23 7-Elevens on the island. It was very convenient and gave me hope that this might spread to the Taiwan mainland.

Five years later, Penghu is mainly gasoline scooters again, the 7-Eleven battery swap is gone, and electric scooter charging stations sit empty. I hope this Gogoro sharing service on Ishigaki works out better.

My plan is to replace my gasoline scooter in the next five years (it’s only five years old now) with an electric model. Threads like this give me hope.