In early 2019, KYMCO Philippines gave us a sneak peek of their Many EV scooter with the intention of selling electric vehicles in the future. At the same time, they also introduced their IONEX (Intelligent Open Network Electric eXperience) system, which allows the swapping of empty batteries with fresh ones at charging stations such as cafes and shops. The idea is to eliminate waiting time during charging to make EV’s a more practical option for users.
However, the pandemic has derailed KYMCO’s plans, and they have yet to roll out the IONEX system.
Meanwhile, another Taiwanese firm has recently announced their plans to introduce a similar system to the Philippines, and they don’t plan to make us wait long.
Gogoro Inc., recently announced a strategic partnership with Globe’s 917Ventures and Ayala Corporation. This partnership will be introducing an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles for the last-mile delivery industry. They will be launching a two-wheel battery-swapping pilot in Manila using Gogoro’s industry-leading battery-swapping technology and Smartscooters.
“Gogoro is honored to have the support of the Philippine’s Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to kick start this new smart mobility movement in Manila that utilizes Gogoro’s intelligent battery swapping, a new generation of EV refueling,” said Horace Luke, founder, and CEO of Gogoro. “Through our collaboration with Globe, 917Ventures, and Ayala Corporation, we plan to unlock incredible environmental and sustainability benefits and introduce new smart mobility efficiencies for businesses by improving how they manage their fleets and deliveries.”
“We are committed to helping solve the climate crisis by introducing Gogoro to logistics businesses, helping them in their sustainability efforts. In addition, the Swap & Go technology will enable riders to be fully charged in just seconds and therefore eliminate the need for parking spots. Hopefully, this technology will encourage more Filipinos to switch to EV,” said Vince Yamat, Managing Director of 917Ventures.
“More than 25% of Taiwan’s quick commerce deliveries and almost all of their electric deliveries are powered by Gogoro’s battery-swapping technology, and we see this solution being most beneficial to a densely populated region like Metro Manila, which is also the hub of business districts,” said Patrick Aquino, Director of the Department of Energy’s Energy Utilization Management Bureau in the Philippines. “The success of this pilot will pave the way for a new sustainable business model in other cities in the country as well. The Philippines can learn from Taiwan’s experience.”
The Smartscooters are powered by Gogoro’s Swap & Go battery swapping platform that uses distributed battery-swapping stations to enable convenient swapping of used batteries for new ones so delivery riders can go about their business without delay. This is expected to launch in Q1 2023.
More time for the riders means more bookings, and going electric will also enable them to save on fuel costs. The only question that remains is how affordable would the said Smartscooters be for delivery riders. I suppose we will know soon enough.