A San Francisco startup backed by the billionaire co-founder of HTC Corp (宏達電) is promoting an electric scooter that features a recharging system that failed to catch on for battery-powered cars.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) unveiled its Smartscooter this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It can go more than 97km without recharging and will be available for sale this year, chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) said.
The company is also developing kiosks where drivers can swap drained battery packs for fresh ones, a task that is much faster than recharging them, Luke said. He expects the scooters to catch on in large cities, especially in Asia.
The world’s biggest cities are “at a tipping point in population density, pollution fallout and rapid expansion,” Luke said in a statement. “It is essential that we reimagine the energy infrastructure.” He declined to discuss prices for the scooter.
Luke was previously chief innovation officer at HTC, and the mobile phone company’s chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) has invested in Gogoro. She and her husband, Chen Wen-chi (陳文琦), are listed together as the 23rd-richest people in Taiwan, with a net worth of US$1.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Gogoro’s battery-swapping model is similar to that of Israel’s Better Place LLC, which went bankrupt in 2013. Drivers of electric cars could exchange drained power packs for fresh ones at Better Place charging stations, which had automated systems to transfer the components.
Gogoro’s kiosks are about the size of a vending machine, and the batteries are small and light enough that people can switch them by hand in less than a minute, Luke said.
‘BULLISH YEAR AHEAD’: The contract chipmaker set a growth target of up to 29 percent, as it expects to outperform its peers in the semiconductor industry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to boost this year’s capital expenditure budget by about 46 percent to exceed US$44 billion, citing strong customer demand for advanced technologies used in high-performance computing (HPC) and 5G-related applications, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. The plan marks a record spending for TSMC after the chipmaker budgeted US$30 billion for capacity expansions at home and overseas fabs last year. TSMC is planning to allocate about 80 percent of this year’s capital spending for advanced chip capacity expansion including 2-nanometer, 3-nanometer, 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer technologies. The chipmaker reiterated that it is on
EMERGING TECH: The semiconductor equipment industry has had unprecedented growth, with increased spending in six of the past seven years, the CEO of SEMI said Global fab equipment spending at front-end facilities is expected to grow at an annual pace of 10 percent this year to a record of more than US$98 billion, with South Korea taking the lead, followed by Taiwan, SEMI said in a quarterly report yesterday. That means that world fab equipment spending is to grow for a third straight year, following a 39 percent jump last year and 17 percent growth in 2020, the global semiconductor trade association said in a statement. The industry previously had three consecutive years of growth from 2016 to 2018, more than 20 years after logging a three-year
Electric scooter maker Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) this year expects its number of electric battery swapping stations to outstrip the number of gas stations in the nation following seven years of deployment, a sign that electric two-wheelers are gaining traction. As of the end of last year, Gogoro had built 2,215 GoStations nationwide, mostly in urban areas, up from 1,937 in 2020. The number of gas stations operated by CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) and Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) was 2,487. “By the end of this year, we are very confident that the number of battery swapping stations will surpass the number of gas stations
CLIENTS’ RIGHTS: Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Lin Chih-chi said the buyer and Citibank Taiwan would need to disclose changes to branch operations DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣), the local unit of Singapore-based DBS Group Holdings Ltd, has reportedly won a bid to acquire Citibank Taiwan Ltd’s (花旗台灣) consumer banking business, but the two companies declined to confirm the report yesterday. Citibank Taiwan’s consumer banking business is to be sold for about NT$60 billion (US$2.17 billion) to DBS Taiwan, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported on Sunday. DBS Taiwan and its parent company are expediting the negotiations with the seller’s US-based parent company, while other local bidders, including Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) and Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), have dropped their bids, the report said. Citibank