Taiwanese electric scooter manufacturer Gogoro unveiled their latest model recently, the Gogoro 3, which benefits from a complete redesign and longer range.
Gogoro made a big splash on the urban transport sector when they unveiled their ambitious plans for the future of inner-city transport in 2015. If you’re new to the Gogoro name, their USP is that their batteries are removable. So rather than having to wait 30 minutes at a charging point whenever you’re low on juice, you simply head to your nearest ‘GoStation’, and swap your depleted battery with a full one from the battery vending machine. Simple. Brilliant.
Not only that, Gogoro moved into Europe at pace, partnering with ride-sharing firm Coup to bring their scooters to the people of Paris and Berlin. In 2017 they also moved into Japan after securing over $300million in funding.
The first generation Gogoro scooter had a range of 60 miles on a single charge. Which, sure, doesn’t sound like a lot, but for a ride-sharing scooter used exclusively in cities it’s more than enough.
The Gogoro 2 came along in 2017, and while the range didn’t improve, the top speed increased to 55mph, and the price dropped by almost half, to just $1,295. Gogoro also beefed up security on the electric scooters. As well as requiring a traditional key, the scooter also requires a fingerprint or passcode from the rider – entered via their smartphone – before it will let you ride away. The second generation smashed the sales set by the Gogoro 1, receiving 13,000 pre-orders in the first couple of months after it was announced. For comparison, the Gogoro 1 sold 12,000 units during the whole of 2016.
And now Gogoro is back with the inventively named Gogoro 3.
The new model gets a host of upgrades from the outgoing version, and headlining those changes is the improved range of 105 miles. Gogoro achieved this by using Panasonic’s new 2170 battery cells, which were first used in the Tesla Model 3. The cells maybe different, but the battery housing is still the same, which means they can be swapped at any current GoStation. Each scooter has two batteries under the seat, but there’s still 26.5 litres of underseat storage – enough for two open face helmets.
Gogoro have also updated the design, taking a much more minimalist approach. The Gogoro 3 looks more like a scooter than some sort of rotund third generation Pokémon. It means less wind and weather protection, but you do get a coffee cup holder on the left hand side, complete with a non-slip rubber lining.
Keeping things as green as possible, the bodywork on the new model is made from fully recyclable polypropylene, which is also more durable, apparently. On paper it sounds great that the bodywork is recyclable, but how does it work in practice? If you write your Gogoro off are you going to remove to bodywork and take it down to the local recycling centre? Does Gogoro do the recycling?
All those improvements are great new, but Gogoro do seem to have gone backwards in a few areas. Top speed takes a slight hit. Down from 55mph on the Gogoro 2 to 51mph on the Gogoro 3 and 53mph on the Gogoro 3+. The 6kW motor (that’s about 8bhp in old money) will deliver 180Nm of torque to the back tyre. That’s more than the Ducati Panigale V4S. Gone is the full-colour LED display, replaced with a rather old looking LCD display. When it comes to security, the fingerprint scanning of the previous model seems to have disappeared, too. Now all you have to do is wave your smart keycard near the display to turn the scooter on. All of which I think are small sacrifices for the huge jump in range.
Currently, you can only buy a Gogoro in Taiwan, where the company have already sold 150,000 units and have a 97% share of the electric scooter market. The price? Just $2,555, or NT$35,980.