The Tesla of scooters is ramping up its presence in Europe.
The Taiwanese startup Gogoro announced this week that it plans to grow its fleet of shared scooters in Berlin to 1,000 vehicles by April 1.
The startup originally expanded its electric scooter business beyond Taiwan and into Europe in August 2016 when it partnered with Coup, a subsidiary of Bosch, to create a scooter sharing program in the German capital. The program launched with 200 Gogoro Smartscooters, but the company is adding an additional 800 because of growing demand, a spokesperson for the company told Business Insider.
The bikes are available for rent to any licensed person above 21 years old.
Here’s a closer look at some of the Smartscooter’s features.
Gogoro’s Smartscooter is powered by a removable battery that gives it a range of 60 miles per charge — an impressive number for an all-electric bike.
Between the handlebars there’s a digital dashboard that colorfully displays the rider’s stats.
If you own a Smartscooter, you can pair the electric vehicle with your smartphone to control certain features.
Gogoro’s app can be used to program custom light patterns for its headlights and taillights. For example, you can make the lights blink repeatedly when you start your scooter.
Riders can also monitor their motor scooter from their smartphone.
Gogoro’s business in Berlin works a lot like a car-sharing service. People have the option to pay €3 ($3.40) for 30 minutes or €20 ($22.50) for a full day.
This business model differs from how the company operates in Taiwan, where people must buy the electric scooter for about $4,000 and pay a membership fee to use any of the company’s 220 battery-swapping stations.
The company currently has 18,000 customers in Taiwan.
In Berlin, there are no battery-swapping stations. Instead, Coup employees go around to stations where scooters are parked and switch out the batteries.
Smartscooters in Berlin also only have a top speed of 27 miles per hour, whereas the Smartscooters people buy in Taiwan have a maximum of 59 miles per hour.
Berlin customers looking to locate, book, and pay to rent a Smartscooter can do so through the Coup app.
While Berlin is the first place outside Taiwan that Gogoro has launched its Smartscooters, the company plans to expand to more countries.
Gogoro’s CEO Horace Luke has said that the company will eventually launch a scooter sharing service in Amsterdam, as well as other cities.
Source : http://www.businessinsider.com