Top Banner

Venture-backed start-up launches 'smart-scooters' in Japan

A Taiwanese venture-backed start-up has agreed to partner with a leading Japanese investment company in an attempt to deploy its electric 'smart-scooters' in the technologically-driven country. Gogoro, which was founded in 2011, formally announced its agreement with global trading and business investment colossus Sumitomo Corporation.

The new program has been entitled Go-Share, and it has been disclosed that a pilot service will commence in the Southern Japanese island of Ishigaki later this year, with views to expand the innovative service to other cities and markets in 2018, if the trial is deemed a success.

General Manager of Sumitomo Corporation's Automotive Division, Masaki Nakajima expressed his delight at the collaboration and reiterated his commitment to electrification in Japan, which he believes can help reduce urban mobility and traffic congestion issues currently affecting the country.

Nakajima said, "I am excited for Sumitomo Corporation to start collaborating with a technology innovator like Gogoro to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. The opportunity to expand Gogoro's smart energy system for vehicles and other applications is significant."

It is believed that the partnership will see the Go-Share service utilize the Gogoro energy network, which is an open battery-swapping system that will power the 'smart-scooter' - as well as additional compact four-wheel vehicles that will come in the future.

Reports emerging from Taiwan claim that Gogoro can handle 17,000 swapped batteries every single day, and has conducted a total of six million battery swaps since launching in 2015. Founder and CEO of Gogoro, Horace Luke, claimed that the two organizations were committed to providing clean energy solutions that can sway people towards a world of electrification, and form a transportation platform that can revolutionize mobility in Japan.

Luke said, "The Sumitomo Corporation and Gogoro partnership represents two companies that share a similar vision for making the world a better place through offering sustainable energy solutions that can transition people away from gas and to electric. The 'smart-scooter' and Gogoro energy network demonstrate how technology innovation can transform an industry and introduce a new urban transportation paradigm."