The Smartscooter / by Gavin Lau

Gogoro built this thing from the ground up, from the motor to the frame.

It goes from 0-30 in 4.2 seconds, with a max speed of roughly 60mph. With both of the scooter’s two battery slots filled, it has a maximum range approaching 100 miles. It’s a city-rider, not a roadtrip horse.

As you might expect of a team with so much smartphone blood, it’s pretty smart.

It’s connected to the cloud via cellular connection, with 30 onboard diagnostic sensors keeping track of pretty much anything that might go wrong. If something breaks or needs maintenance, you’ll hear about it the next time you open the app — or, failing that, from the hub’s display next time you swap your battery.

Meanwhile, the onboard sensors are also gauging the way you ride — both so that the scooter can constantly tweak its own power management to optimize for your riding style, and to offer up tips on how to get better mileage. If you tend to open the throttle too much when going uphill and are just wasting juice, the scooter will tell you.

A BluetoothLE keyfob locks and unlocks your scooter, opens your underseat storage, and identifies you at the GoStation hub.

Want to tweak the color of your dashboard? Just hop into the app and slide a dialer. Want to change the pattern of lights that blink when you lock/unlock the scooter with the fob? Again, it’s right in the app.

But how much will the scooter cost? Like many other details involving money, the company is still working that out.

It’s something of a challenge to write about a company like this, as so much hinges on what can’t be seen at launch. Does the market want an electric scooter they can’t charge at home? Will Gogoro’s battery eventually find many uses beyond just the scooter, as the company clearly hopes it will? Will they be able to roll out their charging network to a density that makes the whole thing worthwhile?

For today, I’ll keep my comments limited to what I can see — and that’s a damned nifty scooter, with an interesting battery system and a beautiful smartphone app to go with it. The scooter is quite a sight to see — as much as a scooter can be “pretty”, it’s really quite pretty.