What has a chassis stamped out of racing-grade aluminum, a front suspension inspired by the landing gear on advanced jet fighters and a 50/50 weight distribution? It’s not the latest Italian supercar, it’s Gogoro’s new Smartscooter.
The Smartscooter was designed specifically for the world’s most crowded megacities. Built using lightweight materials, the 247-pound two-wheeler is powered by a compact G1 electric motor that generates 8.5 horsepower and 18 foot-pounds of instant torque. It takes 4.2 seconds to reach 31 mph from a stop and maxes out at 60 mph, figures that are about on par with a comparable gasoline-powered scooter.
The motor provides a maximum range of 60 miles thanks to two battery packs that use the same Panasonic-built lithium-ion cells found in the Tesla Model S’ pack. The similarities between the two companies don’t stop there, however, and Gogoro is developing an innovative Energy Network that aims to eliminate the long wait often associated with topping up.
When the battery packs are low, a custom-designed smartphone application will automatically display the directions that the rider needs to follow to reach the nearest GoStation. There, the rider will be able to manually swap scooter’s two packs in a record-breaking six seconds. Battery packs can be reserved in advance at a specific station, and a subscription-based payment model lets Smartscooter owners replace the pack as many times as necessary.
The aforementioned application also ensures that the Smartscooter is fully connected. Using information sent by one of 30 sensors, the app provides vital information about the scooter and lets the rider dial in a number of settings including the regenerative braking and the throttle response.
Gogoro is in the process of raising $150 million to launch the Smartscooter and the Energy Network. The Taiwan-based firm expects the first Smartscooter will be ready to hit the streets before the end of the year, and it is currently talking to at least one city in the United States about installing a network of battery swapping stations.