Tag Archives: battery powered

Gogoro The Smartscooter of the future

Gogoro unveiled it’s innovative smartscooter which features cutting edge battery technology & sophisticated charging station infrastructure at the CES 2015 show in Las Vegas.

The most interesting Gogoro-Front-Left-Quarter-Viewthing about the company is its swappable battery network it plans on building out in emerging and existing megacities.

The lithium-ion batteries have a more than 60 mile range—similar to what petrol scooter are capable of. When the rider is ready to swap the two batteries in the scooter, she is routed the nearest charging station through the Gogoro app where the charging station pops out two fresh batteries that are tailored to her driving style–if the rider is prone to going fast, they’ll probably need a stronger, fresher battery.

GoStation2

The lithium-ion batteries were developed in partnership with Panasonic using the Japanese company’s cylindrical 18650-size batteries–the same used inside Tesla’s Model S. The batteries have 25 sensors in them and report back to the cloud every 10 minutes about their status. And the battery talks to the vehicle through near field communication (NFC) technology and to your phone through Bluetooth.

All the Gogoro stations will be synced up to determine which station has enough batteries charged to feed demand at particular locations. It’ll learn the behavior of regular users and be able to manage peak energy demands to better fit in with a city’s electricity demand. Batteries will spend their time charging in hours when energy isn’t in such high demand. Blackouts are a frequent issue in some big cities as energy demands spike more and more at certain times with rapid population growth. This is an attempt to offset those peaks.

“As population grows in megacities, electricity demand is only going to increase at that peak,” said Luke. “There’s the potential of charging surplus energy at night and have them ready for the day. … Imagine a world where your vehicle is so connected to the grid that it knows who, when and how you change batteries. You can design a grid that follows that pattern dynamically throughout the day and adjust energy levels to the amount of vehicles on the road.”

The swappable battery idea may bring to some people’s minds the disastrous cleantech failure that was Israel-based electric vehicle startup Better Place, which received nearly a billion in investment. But instead of the big hulking battery swaps that Better Place had to do with its four-wheel cars with the use of robots, you simply swap out two batteries into the Gogoro scooter using your own two hands. This makes installing the charging stations cheaper. To deploy the Gogoro stations, the company said it’ll cost $10,000–much lower cost than Better Place’s $500,000 charging stations.

Of course, the entire model behind Gogoro could fall apart if it never manages to get cities on board to invest and install this infrastructure. Gogoro thinks it’ll need one station per mile in cities to build the infrastructure up enough for the Gogoro system to work. Gogoro is already in talks with several big cities around building this battery infrastructure–including at least one US city. Even though the target is young people in booming urban areas of the developing world, Gogoro plans to have some presence in Europe and the US. Gogoro said we should be seeing rollout plans around building out this charging infrastructure later this year.

No pricetag has been mentioned yet for the scooter, but the model will be centered around leasing the battery. People will buy the vehicle and get access to the charging station network. “We want to make sure the vehicle is accessible,” said Luke. “In EVs today, the battery makes up 40 percent of building costs. Batteries are that expensive. Removing that and the charging circuit reduces the cost of the vehicle. Our model is more of a mobile phone business plan.”

Before Gogoro, Luke had spent his time as the chief innovation officer at Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC. But with the saturation of the smartphone market as it’s matured, it’s hard to grow in that space and major innovations soon dry up. “There’s so much money in the phone business that it’s practically like running the Olympics,” said Gogoro cofounder and CTO Matt Taylor, who followed Luke from executive positions at Microsoft and HTC to Gogoro. “You have the best teams at Motorola and Apple working on them. It’s hard to sit back and take a breath and really move things forward.”

Scooters seemed like the perfect place to move things forward—the industry hasn’t moved very far in the past 20 years. There are roughly 200 million scooters worldwide. Many people in the emerging megacities are coming into the middle class and desire a means to get around, but the transportation infrastructure isn’t keeping pace with city growth.

The long-term vision behind Gogoro is all around the battery. Gogoro hopes others will build products on top of the modular battery technology. They’re already talking about how the batteries a few years down the road could be used to serve as backup in server farms and commercial buildings.

“This company is not just about shipping vehicles but about starting a new industry and getting everybody rallied around smart energy,” exclaimed Luke. “We call it the smart scooter, not just the electric scooter. It’s connected, receiving, learning.”

The scooter can do a top speed of 60 Mph and can reach 0-30 in 4.2 seconds.

GPS Technology used for driverless car trials in Milton Keynes

Battery-powered driverless cars will run on the pavements of Britain within TWO YEARS

GPS technology will enable the battery-driven two-person “pods” to steer round objects, people and each other as part of a “science fiction future”

 

The future: A Personal Rapid Transit vehicle
The future: A Personal Rapid Transit vehicle
Getty

Driverless cars that can hit speeds of 12mph will be gliding along pavements and using sensors to avoid hitting pedestrians by 2015.

GPS technology will enable the battery-driven two-person “pods” to steer round objects, people and each other.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The number of cars in the world is expected to reach four billion by 2050, four times today’s number, so it is important that the UK is at the cutting edge of new technologies.

“Driverless cars have the potential to generate the kind of high-skilled jobs we want Britain to be famous for as well as cutting congestion and pollution and improving road safety.”

The £2-a-trip pods will be hailed and paid for via a mobile phone app.

David Willetts, the minister for higher education at the business department, said the scheme was part of a “science fiction future”.

He added: “In 25 years we will look back and be amazed at how much time we used to waste driving ourselves places.

“We will be hopping into a car that will drive us to the cinema where we will tell it ‘park yourself and come back and get me at 10.15pm.’

“One aim is to see if driverless cars are safer so we can cut road traffic accidents. They don’t get drunk or drive under the influence of drugs. They don’t get exhausted and fall asleep.”

Google introduced driverless cars in California last year and they have now driven 400,000 miles in America without a single accident

A £65million trial of the cars in Milton Keynes, Bucks, starts in 2015. The 100-strong fleet is expected to be fully operational two years later.