Gogoro kicks off e-scooter, battery swap pilot in Delhi-NCR with 90 vehicles

The Taiwan-based EV battery-swapping major plans to gain data to finetune its products as it eyes foraying into the Indian market with localised products in mid-CY23.

By Mayank Dhingra calendar 25 Apr 2023 Views icon3908 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Taiwan-based EV battery-swapping major Gogoro, which entered India in November 2022, by announcing a partnership with Zypp Electric – a Delhi-based EV-as-a-Service platform – has kicked off its pilot in Delhi-NCR.

The company has latched 90 Gogoro 2 Series e-scooters on the Zypp Electric platform to conduct a pilot over the next six months in the national capital region, and will tap into the operational data related to battery usage, swapping patterns, rider behaviour, and asset utilisation, that it aims to leverage to incorporate into its locally-manufactured products which are likely to be introduced in mid-CY23.

To support the pilot, Gogoro has set up six battery swapping stations – four in Gurugram, and two in Delhi - with a six-second battery swap claim. With this USP, the company aims to minimise downtime for gig workers who are associated with service providers like Zypp Electric to offer last- mile delivery services to e-commerce brands.

According to Kaushik Burman, General Manager, Gogoro India, “This pilot project is extremely strategic for us and gradually, we will learn a lot of things. It will help us tap into the actual data, including rider behaviour, swap frequency, asset utilisation, and battery state-of-health. These vectors will help us as we go into the localisation of our products in India. They will also help from a product-design standpoint, and enable us to offer tailor-made battery pack performance.”

Burman mentioned that the pilot will only be conducted in Delhi-NCR with a laser-sharp focus to reach a critical mass. “We want to stay focused on Delhi-NCR and do it well. Delhi has a mandate for electrification, and this gives us a huge opportunity to learn from this market. Moreover, unless there is a critical mass of infrastructure, the idea is to ensure there is a fit-for-purpose, critical mass network of swap stations. Thereafter, we can leverage these learnings and start scaling,” he said.

Made-in-India e-scooter rollout in CY23

The company will commercialise its made-in-India products around mid-CY23, but will adopt a phase-wise expansion strategy. “India is a large country, and we will be eyeing a maximum of 5-6 cities over the next two years. We will be very selective about our positioning in the country, and initially focus on the B2B fleet segment which is playing a key role in the decarbonisation of the logistics segment,” Burman added.

“While there is a glide path to localisation, our target is to localise everything in India. We want to make India a supply hub for the rest of the world,” Burman told Autocar Professional. However, he cautioned, “It takes time to build a vertically-integrated manufacturing setup. It is all in the process; it is all in the works,” he said. He also stated that Gogoro’s Indian engineering, and supply chain teams are presently leading the localisation of the Taiwanese major’s upcoming offerings for India.

While the Taiwanese parent is presently funding Gogoro India’s operations, the company says that it will assess other ways of financing in due course of time. “Capital is not a constraint; for the right technology…, capital will always gravitate towards the best technology. With an experience of conducting 150 million swaps annually in Taiwan, we are confident about our technology which emphasises safety,” Burman mentioned.

Ride quality, safety at the core

The company envisages at least 100x battery swaps in India compared to Taiwan, which has a 22- million population, and has imported the batteries, and swap stations, as well as the premium-looking Gogoro 2 Series e-scooters from Taiwan,  to conduct its maiden pilot project in India, and says that even the upcoming India-specific products are going to offer robustness as a key product attribute.

“The rider needs will be at the locus of everything, and we would eye safety and ride quality. Our six-second swap-and-go model is a proposition to enhance the livelihood of the rider. We want to give gig workers an opportunity to enhance their income. Those are the motivational goals for us,” Burman said.

He also mentioned that the revised battery safety norms in India have not been a hindrance to the company’s product launch plans and that Gogoro has constructively engaged with the Ministry of Heavy Industries, NITI Aayog, as well as the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and given its inputs on battery safety standards.

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