Gogoro, the Taiwanese company commercializing battery swapping ecosystems for electric scooters, is targeting the Philippines as its next market. The startup announced Tuesday that it has partnered with Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation, telecom provider Globe and corporate venture builder 917Ventures to launch a B2B battery swap pilot in Manila in the first quarter of 2023.
917Ventures is a subsidiary of Globe, which is part of the Ayala Corporation umbrella.
The partnership with heavyweights in the Philippine ecosystem comes days after the Philippines approved lifting import tariffs on electric vehicles and their parts for the next five years. The move is part of the Philippines’ Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, signed into law earlier this year to encourage clean energy innovation. Gogoro founder and CEO Horace Luke told Eureka News Now that the tariff lift also applies to battery chargers and swappers, making it the perfect time for Gogoro to launch its battery swapping stations and smart scooters in the country.
“The Philippines is trying to electrify, so little by little we’re saying that we’re going to be the first to really lead and lead the market,” Luke said. “We see a great opportunity for us to expand the market because there hasn’t been mass adoption of two-wheelers yet. And when they do go, it would be great if it moves towards electrification.”
Finally, Gogoro aims to bring an open battery swap system to the Philippines that is compatible with locally produced electric two-wheelers as well as Gogoro’s own smart scooters – Gogoro has worked with electric two-wheeler manufacturers in India and China to integrate its own swappable battery packs into their scooters for an easier one Market entry instead of having to import your own smart scooters as well.
However, the Philippines is a different type of market. Two-wheelers have historically not been as popular in the country as they are in India or China, Luke said. Market acceptance is now starting to improve along with the rise of delivery and logistics services, hence Gogoro’s strategy to enter the market with a B2B pilot focused on the logistics industry.
Gogoro wouldn’t reveal which delivery service provider it will be working with initially, but Ayala Corp has its own dedicated entity, AC Logistics. Luke said that by early next year, Gogoro will have sent through several hundred of its smart scooters and several hundred batteries, as well as half a dozen exchange stations that will be set up for delivery drivers across Manila.
“We’re going to use B2B as a first step to really build what we call baseload,” Luke said. “The base load is basically the minimum number of users using the network that will allow you to actually create a business model that has been shown to be workable. Given the gas prices in the Philippines and the daily volume of logistics drivers, this is an opportunity for us to show that the business model is viable.”
The pilot will last at least six months before expanding to new B2B partners or even private consumers, Luke said. During this time, Gogoro hopes to get feedback from the market both on whether two-wheelers can be introduced in the Philippines and whether battery switching will catch on alongside two-wheelers’ introduction. Gogoro will also collect data from vehicles while they’re on the move to optimize its system, Luke said.
“More than 25% of rapid retail deliveries and almost all electrical deliveries in Taiwan are powered by Gogoro’s battery swapping technology, and we believe this solution for a densely populated region like Metro Manila, which is also the business hub, on most beneficial is districts,” said Patrick Aquino, director of the Department of Energy’s Energy Utilization Management Bureau in the Philippines, in a statement. “The success of this pilot project will pave the way for a new sustainable business model in other cities in the country. The Philippines can learn from Taiwan’s experience.”
Gogoro’s global network includes nearly 11,000 battery swapping stations in over 2,260 locations. According to the company, which is the market leader in Taiwan, it carries out more than 370,000 battery changes a day with a total of more than 360 million changes.
The company recently announced a similar B2B partnership with EV-as-a-service platform Zypp Electric to electrify logistics fleets and last-mile deliveries in India. Gogoro expects to launch a pilot project with Zypp in Delhi in December, which will complement Gogoro’s existing consumer-facing partnership in India with local two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp.
Gogoro also recently launched battery swapping stations and smart scooters in Tel Aviv and also has a presence in China and Indonesia.