Tue, Jan 22, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Business Bilingual: Start your engines: Electric scooter makers prepare to do battle in 2019
決戰電動機車 光陽要搶百分之五十市占率

Kwang Yang Motor Co chairman Allen Ko stands next to Ionex electric scooters and Ionex battery charging stations at a news conference in Taipei.
光陽董事長柯勝峰在台北的發表會中,與Ionex電動機車及充電站合影。

Photo: Yang Ya-ming, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者楊雅民

The Year of the Pig is shaping up to become a decisive year in the battle between producers of electric scooters. Leading manufacturer of gasoline-powered scooters, Kwang Yang Motor Co. (KYMCO), is predicting it will shift 50,000 electric scooters in the coming year and grab 50 percent market share of the electric scooter market by going head-to-head with established market leader Gogoro.

Due to the provision of government subsidies, electric scooters are able to be sold at a relatively low price point. This powerful incentive last year helped propel domestic sales of electric scooters to 82,400 units. Of these, Gogoro sold 72,100 units — double its sales volume for the previous year — enabling the company to grab 87 percent of the market share and cement its place as the market leader in Taiwan’s electric scooter market.

Meanwhile, KYMCO chief executive Ko Chun-pin says although the company only started selling electric scooters in the fourth quarter of last year, it has already shifted 7,296 units. Ko says he expects the electric scooter market will kick into high gear this year and says the company has already installed 1,642 of its Ionex fast charging stations, and says it will also install a further 278 Ionex energy stations.

Additionally, Ko says KYMCO will focus on popularizing the electric scooter and competing with the flagship brands of competitors for the young consumer segment. The company predicts that over 100,000 units of electric scooters will be sold this year, and hopes to achieve its year-end target of shifting 50,000 units, seizing 50 percent of market share.

In contrast, Gogoro is pursuing a saturation coverage strategy, blanketing the country with charging stations, which is being carried out at an average rate of two new station installations per day. The company says it now has 1,000 battery swapping GoStations in place nationwide and expects to have all of these fully operational by the end of this year’s first quarter. Once they all go live, Gogoro says that within the nation’s six largest cities, riders will never be more than an average of 5 minutes away from the nearest battery swap station, a strategy the company is using to defend its dominant market position.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. electric scooter phr.

電動機車 (dian4 dong4 ji1 che1)

2. government subsidy phr.

政府補助 (zheng4 fu2 bu3 zhu4)

3. kick into high gear phr.

加足馬力 (jia1 zu2 ma3 li4)

4. focus on phr.

聚焦 (ju4 jiao1)

5. saturation coverage phr.

鋪天蓋地 (pu1 tian1 gai4 di4)

6. defend v. 捍衛 (han4 wei4)

7. dominant market position phr.

市場龍頭地位 (shi4 chang3 long2 tou2 di4 wei4)

8. hit the market phr.

上市開賣 (shang4 shi4 kai1 mai4)


Last year, China Motor Corp sold 5,768 of its emoving electric scooter, grabbing 7 percent market share. This year the company will release its first “white license plate” (heavy duty) electric scooter as well as a customizable light-weight model. The company forecasts sales of its electric scooter and electric bicycle models will come close to achieving its target of 17,000 units by the end of the year.

The three largest scooter vendors operating in Taiwan — Yamaha Motors, Aeon Motor and Motive Power Industry, which operates under the PGO brand — have all announced they will enter into a partnership with Gogoro to share its platforms, including its battery charging system, smart batteries and battery swap system, which will work in conjunction with their own electric scooter models, developed in-house. The three companies are all scheduled to release new models in the second half of this year.

Sanyang Motor will adopt fast-charging batteries developed by CPC Corp, Taiwan for its line of electric scooters currently under development, which the company says could hit the market as soon as the end of this year. With model development revving up, the year ahead looks set to be a lively one for Taiwan’s electric scooter market.

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