Getting people who are already interested in two-wheelers into electric versions is one thing—but what do you do about people who are intimidated by two-wheelers? How do you draw them in and get them interested? Easy; you make them as cute, unintimidating, and customizable as possible. That’s what Gogoro is betting on with the introduction of its newest ultra-lightweight electric scooter.
Weighing in at just 80kg (or 176 pounds), the Viva is a tiny, adorable step-through scooter that boasts over 21 liters of storage. Designed for tight urban environments where space is at a premium, the Viva also addresses two other common concerns of commuters. One, the polypropylene body panels are made to be scratch-resistant, a distinct plus for everyday parallel parking. Two—and perhaps even more impressively—they’re totally recyclable.
Gallery: Gogoro Viva Ultra-Lightweight Scooter
Unlike the larger Gogoro scooters, the Viva is made to use a single battery at a time instead of two. However, due to advances in Gogoro’s battery technology, this scoot still gets a range of 85km (or 52 miles) before you’ll need to swap your battery for a new one at a GoStation.
The Viva goes on sale in Taiwan in October, and will run buyers TWD$54,980, which works out to US $1800. Additionally, Gogoro plans to roll this model out to some as-yet unspecified global markets in 2020.
In a phone interview with CEO Horace Luke, I asked for more information about Gogoro’s global plans. He said that building up a sufficient infrastructure is key—and is part of why Taiwan’s rollout has been so successful. According to Luke, charging stations are almost as prevalent as ATMs, with over 1400 GoStations already carefully situated around Taiwan. You can apparently find a GoStation charging unit about every quarter mile you travel on the island—and that’s crucial to curing range anxiety with a shorter-range vehicle like this.
For customers who are used to filling up with gas at the pump, it’s worth noting that Gogoro’s battery swap system is estimated to take about six seconds. If it’s truly that quick and easy, adoption of these adorable commuters shouldn’t be a tough sell at all. However, it’s a well-established fact that scooter and general two-wheeled commuting is much more prevalent across Asia than it is in the US.
Commuting—and parking—in congested metro areas on a tiny scooter like the Viva would be ideal. Thriving small-displacement scooter scenes already exist in Chicago and similar large urban areas, and adopting something like this in those areas seems feasible. For large urban environments, Gogoro’s easy, affordable, cute transport solution that also cuts down on big-city pollution problems makes a lot more sense than the e-scooter plague currently sweeping the nation.