Sales of electric bikes in Australia are doubling even as retailers fight a new 5 per cent tarriff on electric bike imports, but other countries have long embraced the eco-friendly, space-saving form of transport.
Japanese maker of motorcycles and marine motors, Yamaha, is taking it one step further, with its Indian subsidiary working towards an easy-to-change battery scooter as it takes aim at the Taiwanese market.
It plans to do so in collaboration with Taiwanese firm Gogoro, with whom it is exploring a contract and who already makes electric scooters and battery swapping infrastructure.
While Yamaha intends to apply Gogoro’s battery swapping technology to their own Yamaha-branded e-scooters, all production will be handled by Gogoro.
Yasuo Ishihara, development director of Yamaha India, also confirmed that the two companies are working, together with other Yamaha research centers in other countries, to develop a platform or base for electric bikes.
“This collaboration with Gogoro in the Taiwanese market will not only increase the mobility options of our customers, but we believe that sharing leading-edge battery-swapping system enables embracing the challenge of creating a new mobility service market,” said Takuya Kinoshita, Chief General Manager of Motorcycle Business Operations, Yamaha Motor.
Swapping batteries on electric scooters will by no means by a new thing in Taiwan – there are currently 750 Gogoro battery swapping stations in the Asian country, some of which are powered by on-site solar panels, with another 250 slated for installation by 2019.
In fact, since launch, over 17 million battery swaps have been executed by the Gogoro Energy Network.
Gogoro says it is excited about the possible collaboration.
“Gogoro was founded as an open platform innovator utilizing energy network infrastructure to spark the smart city transition in megacities. We are honored to collaborate with Yamaha to take a major step forward towards our goal,” said Horace Luke, founder and CEO of Gogoro Inc.
Yamaha began their foray into the electric scooter market in 2014 with the release of the all-electric E-Vino, which is available in both Japan and Taiwan.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.