Gogoro – creators of the Gogoro smart scooter and Gogoro Energy Network – has partnered with Sumitomo to launch its urban electric scooter-sharing program under the new brand ‘GoShare’ in Japan. GoShare will begin with a pilot program on the island of Ishigaki later this year and then expand to other cities in 2018.
The Gogoro Energy Network is a series of charging stations for users to drop off their scooter’s depleted batteries to swap in new ones. The newest GoStation’s run on solar power, with eight solar panels that provide enough energy to charge 10 batteries at a time. These interactive stations display how much power they are generating from solar energy, as opposed to how much is from the grid. They also display how many batteries the green energy has recharged, how that’s impacted its carbon footprint, and how many trees’ worth of carbon absorption it equates to.
Ride-share programs have so far proven successful in Taipei, Paris, and Berlin. The programs have multiple business models in different countries – for example, in Berlin customers will pay €3 for 30 minutes of riding or €20 for a full day (about $3.40 and $22.50 USD, respectively), whereas in Taipei customers buy the scooters and pay a membership fee to gain access to the battery-swapping stations. Riders download an app, enter their driver’s license info, and can then pull up a map and find the nearest scooter.
“I am excited for Sumitomo Corporation to start collaborating with a technology innovator like Gogoro to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles,” Masaki Nakajima, executive officer and general manager, Automotive Division, No.1, Sumitomo Corporation. “The opportunity to expand Gogoro’s smart energy system for vehicles and other applications is significant.”