Gogoro, a mysterious startup that raised $US150 million and has been working in stealth mode for the past four years, is launching its first product at CES.
That product is a smart, electric scooter that you’ll never have to plug in to charge.
Instead, the scooter is powered by a small, portable battery that you can swap out at battery-swapping stations across major cities, Greg Kumparak at TechCrunch reports.
“By 2030, there’s going to be 41 megacities, the majority in the developing world,” Gogoro CEO Horace Luke tells The Verge.
The battery-swapping stations would initially just provide batteries for scooters, however as Gogoro builds out a wider range of products, the batteries could also power other vehicles.
The batteries are built with the same lithium-ion cells used in the Tesla Model S. They contain a couple dozen sensors inside and each one weighs about 20lbs.
When your Smartscooter runs low on juice, Gogoro’s complementary smartphone app redirects you to the nearest “GoStation” hub where you can swap batteries. Each weather-proofed hub can hold and charge eight batteries at a time.
When you purchase a Gogoro Smartscooter you’re also sold a subscription plan that gives you access to the charging hubs. The subscription cost theoretically replaces what you’d spend on gas, though Gogoro hasn’t announced pricing on either the scooter itself or the charging costs.
Aside from its plugless charging, the scooter is similar to other electric scooters. With a max speed of around 60 mph and a maximum range of around 100 miles, it’s ideal for short trips and commuting. Its system connects to the cloud via cellular network and provides onboard diagnostics through a connected smartphone app.
Additional Smartscooter specs and information can be found on Gogoro’s website.