The debate of the environment has seemingly reached a crescendo this year, even with Pope Francis making a bid. Fossil fuels are the new seemingly “uncool” thing. Electric vehicles have been around for a while, but issues with expensive batteries and waiting for recharges have long since made them unpopular.
Well, the new energy startup Gogoro has endeavored to solve the problem. On Monday at CES in Las Vegas, the startup unveiled its plans to network electric smart scooters and portable battery stations. Gogoro has devised a new system that would allow people to swap their electric batteries rather than sitting around waiting for a charge.
The company has slowly been unfolding its plans since early 2011, and has high hopes for how the scooter will revolutionize electric vehicles.
“The whole idea is no longer to charge,” Gogoro CEO Horace Luke told Mashable. “Look at what the double a battery did to the consumer electronic industry, this is what we’re trying to do [for the electric vehicle industry].”
All those that buy a smart scooter, will also have an accompanying subscription to the battery service, which will grant unlimited battery swapping within a specific city. The batteries are 9kg or 20lbs, which will be stored under the seat, and has the capacity to switched within seconds. The owners will also have access to an accompanying app, which collects data on the scooter’s sensors, such as battery levels, parking location and energy use. The app will also allow the user to change the color of the dashboard lights in an attempt at customization.
The smart scooter has similar specifications to other electric scooters. It will top out at 95km/hr, or 60/mph and will have enough energy for about 60km or 37 miles.
According to Mashable, Luke hopes that there will be enough of “Gogoro’s modular battery stations around cities so that owners will always be able to reach a station and swap out batteries before they run out of juice”.
Gogoro models will roll out it’s smart scooters and their networks in select cities this year.
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