Taiwan's 'game changer' e-bike battery charging stations could supercharge shift from fossil fuels
Every day, Aiden Lee joins the hundreds of thousands of people getting around Taiwan's capital Taipei on two wheels.To get more news about ebike battery charging, you can visit magicyclebike.com official website.
But when most of his fellow riders head to a petrol pump to refuel, he takes his e-motorbike to one of Taiwan's increasingly commonplace battery-swapping stations - tech, its creators say, could supercharge the shift from fossil fuels.
"Honestly, if it weren't for battery swapping - which by the way is even faster than filling up at a petrol station - I wouldn't use an electric bike," Lee, a marketing executive, said.
Lee has used the rechargeable batteries provided by Taiwanese startup Gogoro since 2015, putting him among the 450,000 subscribers who swap an average of 330,000 batteries each day, according to the company's figures.
He says it costs about 10 per cent more than buying petrol each month.
Now eyeing regional expansion and a New York listing, Gogoro has more than 2,300 stations outside convenience shops or in car parks across Taiwan, where e-moped riders stop to exchange depleted batteries for freshly charged cells.
Companies in China, the United States, and Israel have struggled to provide easy access to swappable batteries for e-cars, in part because of the high cost of building charging facilities and the time needed to charge much larger cells.
But the tech works better for mopeds, said Gogoro founder and chief executive Horace Luke, as the batteries and stations need not be so large.
"Instead of the four-wheeler infrastructure that needs to be built, our system is really like a vending machine that goes into different locations based on where the consumer goes and where the consumer needs energy," he said.
The facilities already outnumber petrol stations in four major Taiwanese cities, the company said, and vice-president Alan Pan told a news conference last week that the firm's goal for 2022 was to "surpass the number of petrol stations island-wide".