Saturday, 14 March 2015

Electric future

The snow is starting to melt here in Ontario. It will soon be time to bring my scooter out of the shed. I'm also looking forward to the e-scooter rental place opening near my home so I can do that trial run. While I've always thought my next scooter would be a Piaggio gas scooter, I realize that an electric scooter is a more responsible choice. Despite their success in China where they are mandatory in cities, electric scooters are still a hard sell. In Taiwan, for example, where gas scooters and motorcycles are still cheap ways to get around, they haven't taken off.

We all know that we have to wean ourselves from fossil fuels and if we can find clean sources for electricity, we should rely more and more on the cleaner electric vehicles with their low emissions.

What's the problem then? The answer: batteries, batteries, batteries. And how to charge them. As long as it remains inconvenient to charge electric two-wheelers they'll be a hard sell. So far, Taiwan lacks the infrastructure for charging bikes. As does much of Europe and North America.

Innovators are working on the problem. Some are working on making batteries more efficient.

But this winter a Taiwanese start-up company, Gogoro, announced the development of  its Smartscooter, which is receiving positive reviews. The innovation here: battery swapping. Gogoro envisions battery swap points set up at stations throughout cities, claiming it would take seconds to swap a depleted battery for a fresh one or charge one.

Photo: Gogoro

It all may be a way's off but there's an inevitability to the switch to electric if the charging problems can be fixed. Electric scooter are predicted to do well in the future, and not too far into the future, especially in booming markets like India.

No comments:

Post a Comment