What is it? Gogoro creates an ecosystem for e-mobility solutions that inspires the world to rethink urban energy and to move through cities in smarter and more sustainable ways. The Gogoro Network provides a battery swapping platform for EVs in several countries in Asia. Subscription provides users with easy access to fully charged, ready-to-swap smart batteries on the go (Gogoro, 2022a). Users can drop off depleted batteries and pick up fully charged ones at the closest GoStation (Rest of World, 2022). The GoStation can also be plugged into the grid to power parking meters, street lights and traffic signals for smart cities (Gogoro, 2022a). Big data and AI technologies were used to optimise charging efficiency by anticipating where energy is needed the most at GoStation. As part of the ecosystem, Gogoro also manufactures its own e-scooters and has recently launched GoShare, an e-scooter sharing platform (Gogoro, 2022a).
Why is this important? To lower the urban environmental impact of transportation, a modal shift away from personal fossil fuel-powered vehicles to more sustainable micromobility alternatives is necessary. Mobility alternatives such as bicycles and e-scooters are greener options that encourage lower emissions as well as better air quality, more public space and additional health benefits (European Environmental Agency, 2021). According to a recent report, the lifecycle GHG emissions from an e-scooter, calculated on a per km basis, may be around 37% lower than those of conventional private cars (ITF, 2020).
Main resource strategy:
Narrowing the loop: the e-scooter is a low carbon transport option and AI allows for charging efficiencies. In addition, the sharing platform could reduce the total need for scooters.
Other resource strategies:
Slowing: the swappable EV batteries are designed to last, with continual updates to ensure battery longevity (Gogoro, 2022a).
Business model aspects:
- Value Proposition: Gogoro creates an ecosystem for EV battery swapping, users can swap depleted batteries at a GoStation for fully charged ones. Additionally, the new e-scooter rental service GoShare enables users to rent e-scooters based on the rental duration.
- Value Creation & Delivery: Gogoro works closely with local governments and businesses to set up a network of GoStations that can feed into the national grid. AI and big data-backed platform to optimise battery swapping efficiency. Additionally, Gogoro designs and manufactures its own line of e-scooters realised through collaborations with motor manufacturers such as Yamaha Motor (Yamaha Motor, 2018).
- Value Capture: Gogoro offers different subscription plans depending on usage e.g. flex plan 319 NT$ (10.5 EUR); high usage (dual battery) around 1,269 NT$ (42 EUR) per month (Gogoro, 2020b). As for GoShare, the pricing depends on rental duration and vehicle type. For example Gogoro 2 costs around 85 NT$ for 30 min rental time (Smilesandy, 2022).
Strategies for degrowth/ sufficiency (based on sufficiency strategies from Niessen & Bocken, 2021):
- Green alternative: Gogoro enables the proliferation of e-scooters as a more sustainable alternative to personal fossil fuel-powered vehicles, contributing to lower emissions in the urban landscape.
Business model experimentation practices: Gogoro was founded in 2011 as a software company that supports EV battery swapping. Over the years, the company added other capabilities such as EV battery manufacturing, battery swapping stations and electric scooters, growing to be the first unicorn company in Taiwan, valued currently at US 2 billion (Eco-Business, 2022). In 2019, Gogoro piloted GoShare, an EV rental platform in Taoyuan city, Taiwan, in collaboration with the local government (TechCrunch, 2019). The initiative has now expanded to other cities in Taiwan.
Sustainability outcomes: Since launching in 2015, Gogoro has saved more than 384 million kg (846 million lbs) of CO2 (Gogoro, 2022c).
Eco-Business (2022). Gogoro co-founder and CEO: The tougher the problem, the better it is to solve. Accessed 16 August 2022 at: https://www.eco-business.com/podcasts/gogoro-co-founder-and-ceo-the-tougher-the-problem-the-better-it-is-to-solve/
European Environmental Agency (2021). Rail and waterborne — best for low-carbon motorised transport. Briefing no. 01/2021. Accessed 31 March 2021 at: https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/rail-and-waterborne-transport
Gogoro (2022a). Rethinking smart energy. Accessed 16 August 2022 at: https://www.gogoro.com/about/
Gogoro (2020b) Riding plans. Accessed 18 August 2022 at: https://network.gogoro.com/tw/en/riding-plans/
Gogoro (2022c).Gogoro Manufactures One-millionth Battery, Demonstrates Success of Open Battery Swapping Ecosystem. Accessed 16 August 2022 at: https://www.gogoro.com/news/one-million-gogoro-smart-battery/
ITF (2020a), "Good to Go? Assessing the Environmental Performance of New Mobility", International Transport Forum Policy Papers, No. 86, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/f5cd236b-en.
TechCrunch (2019). Known for its electric scooters, Gogoro moves toward its future as a mobility platform. Accessed 18 August 2022 at: https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/23/known-for-its-electric-scooters-gogoro-moves-toward-its-future-as-a-mobility-platform/
Niessen, L., & Bocken, N. M. P. (2021). How can businesses drive sufficiency? The business for sufficiency framework. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 28, 1090-1103. doi:10.1016/j.spc.2021.07.030
Rest of the World. (2022). How a Taiwanese electric two-wheeler startup made its electric battery swapping stations as common as gas stations in Taiwan. Accessed 16 August 2022 at: (https://restofworld.org/2022/how-a-taiwanese-electric-two-wheeler-startup-made-its-electric-battery-swapping-stations-more-common-than-gas-stations-in-taiwan/
Yamaha Motor (2018). Yamaha Motor and Gogoro Begin EV Business Collaborative Study. Accessed 18 August 2022 at: https://global.yamaha-motor.com/news/2018/0911/collaboration.html
About project Circular X
Project Circular X is about ‘Experimentation with Circular Service Business Models’. It is an ambitious research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) which supports top researchers from anywhere in the world. Project CIRCULAR X runs from 2020-2025. The project is led by Principal Investigator (PI) Prof Dr Nancy Bocken, who is joined by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI), Maastricht School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University. The project cooperates with businesses who want to innovate towards the circular economy.
Project Circular X addresses a new and urgent issue: experimentation with circular service business models (CSBMs). Examples of such new business models include companies shifting from selling products to selling services and introducing lifelong warrantees to extend product lifetimes. However, CSBMs are far from mainstream and research focused on experimentation is little understood. The research aims to conduct interdisciplinary research with 4 objectives:
- Advancing understanding of CSBMs; their emergence and impacts
- Advancing knowledge on CSBM experimentation
- Developing CSBM experimentation tools
- Designing and deploying CSBM experimentation labs
This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement No. 850159.
Using of this information
When you refer to this case, please use the following source:
Circular X. (2022) Case study: Gogoro - EV battery swapping ecosystem. Accessed from www.circularx.eu