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Electric scooters stage a Coup in Berlin

The Smartscooter - Source: Gogoro

Gogoro and Bosch bring an electric scooter-sharing scheme to Berlin, with a concept that could take Europe by storm

Gogoro Inc., a Taiwanese company that manufactures battery-powered scooters, is teaming up with a subsidiary of industrial technology firm Robert Bosch to bring a scooter-sharing programme to Berlin.

The scheme has a sound pedigree; Gogoro is backed by Japan’s giant Panasonic Corp., the same company supplying funds and the behind technology Tesla’s Gigafactory battery plant.

Under a Bosch platform called Coup, as of August 3 Berliners can locate, book and pay for one of 200 eScooters via a smartphone app.

Riders need not leave the scooter at a central parking location, but can instead leave it at their destination.

The scooters themselves, on paper at least, look pretty capable. Gogoro claims that its proprietary G1 motor will let take them to 0-50km/h in 4.2 seconds, and push to a top speed of 95 km/h – more than enough to navigate a modern city centre.

Each vehicle can store a helmet and two removable battery packs – cells supplied by Panasonic, naturally. Together Gogoro says the two packs will take the scooter around 100km. ElecTrans has reached out to the company for more information on the battery capacity. [EDIT: Gogoro spokesman Jason Gordon confirmed that each battery is 1.3 kWh].

Gogoro, which partnered with Bosch’s Coup and BCG Digital Ventures on the software, expects to expand the programme to other European cities. In Berlin, the scooters rent for 3 Euros for 30 minutes, and 20 Euros for the day.

The model has so far proved a success in Taiwan, where Gogoro operates 10,000-plus shared scooters and over 225 charging stations.

If the model works in hip Berlin, we could see this becoming a real success across Europe, where scooters are often the go-to mode of personal transport in larger (and smaller) cities. Watch this space – the time to Gogoro may come soon.

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