Gogoro’s electric smartscooter is pretty snazzy… but unless you live in Taiwan, chances are you haven’t actually seen one in person. The scooters require a network of battery-swapping terminals to work as intended, so they’re shipping out one country at a time — and so far, “one country at a time” means “one country”: Taiwan.
That changes starting today: Gogoro’s scooters are rolling out in Berlin immediately, albeit as part of a scooter rental service.
Gogoro is partnering with Bosch, supplying the German mega-company with 200 scooters for an on-demand rental service they’re calling “Coup”. Gogoro CEO Horace Luke tells me that Bosch will own the scooters, but declined to comment on the financials of the deal beyond that.
The scooters will rent for 3 euros for 30 minutes, or 20 euros per day. To rent one, you’ll open the Coup app and rent the nearest available scooter; when done, you just park it in the nearest legal parking spot for someone else to grab. Helmets will be included in the rental price, stowed in the scooter’s trunk.
“But wait! Doesn’t the Gogoro need battery swapping stations to work right?”
Indeed! And such stations aren’t widely available yet in Berlin. As such, Coup is going to handle battery swapping during this initial phase — they’ll determine when a scooter’s battery is running low, and will swap it out with a fresh one while the scooter is parked.
This isn’t the first scooter sharing service in Berlin — or even the first electric scooter sharing service in the city. For example, a sharing service called eMio has been around since March of last year.
For the most part, these scooters are the same ones Gogoro is selling in Taipei — with one catch: they’re limited to 45 kilometers per hour (roughly 28mph), whereas the purchased version caps out at 95 kilometers per hour (~59mph). Why? Drivers licenses. By keeping it limited, Gogoro says, they’re able to rent to people with standard drivers licenses as opposed to Motorcycle-specific licenses. They’re also getting a new look for the sake of branding:
Gogoro’s scooter initially launched in Taiwan at a price equivalent to roughly $4,100 USD. That price was quickly dropped to around $3,000 USD. A little over a year after launch, Gogoro says they’ve sold 10,000 scooters.
Alas, Berliners hoping to actually own one of Gogoro’s scooters are still going to have to wait a bit — it’s strictly a rental arrangement, for now. Meanwhile, the company says they’re planning on selling their scooters in Amsterdam later this summer.
You can check out our initial write-up of Gogoro’s launch right here.