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Gogoro, the 'Tesla of Scooters,' Picks Amsterdam as Second Test City

The narrow streets and bike culture make the European city seem like a good fit for the electric scooter startup.


Gogoro has chosen Amsterdam, a city with crowded streets and a culture of biking, as the next city to try out its electric scooter technology.

The city of Amsterdam has been looking for ways to get additional four-wheeled vehicles off the road, making it a good fit for Gogoro, CEO Horace Luke told Re/code. The company plans to open a demonstration center early next year, with the first scooters hitting the road in the first half of the year.

“The city streets are extremely small,” said Luke, the former HTC executive who started the Taiwan-based electric vehicle maker. “Trying to find a parking space in Amsterdam is impossible. The electrification of bicycles and two-wheel vehicles is inevitable.”

Amsterdam has rules, based on vehicle speed, as to which scooters can ride in bike lanes and which must use city streets, but Gogoro’s scooter is capable of meeting either definition, depending on settings.

Gogoro has been testing its scooter network and approach in Taipei since this summer. Luke said there are now 2,000 scooters on the roads of Taipei and 90 of its GoStation charging facilities.

“It’s a pretty successful launch, I’d say,” Luke said.

Last week, Gogoro announced it had raised $130 million in a Series B round that included a new investment from its battery maker, Panasonic, as well as the National Development Fund of Taiwan. Taiwanese investor Samuel Yin, Gogoro’s largest shareholder, led the latest round as well. Gogoro has now raised more than $180 million since its 2011 founding.

While much attention is centered on Gogoro’s sleek two-wheeled vehicles, the company sees itself as more than just a scooter company. Like Tesla, the company also views itself as an energy company.

Luke didn’t go into details, but acknowledged the company has ambitions beyond transportation.

“We are fundamentally a smart-city and smart-energy company,” he said. “Transportation happens to be the industry that consumes the most energy today.”

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