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Gogoro and Foxconn team up to spread e-scooters

Gogoro and Foxconn are teaming up on electric transportation, with battery-swappable Smartscooter tech aiming for a wider launch. Though known for its electric scooter, key to Gogoro’s strategy has always been its modular power pack system; that allows riders to switch out their batteries at charging stations, rather than waiting for their scooter to recharge.

It’s a clever approach, and Gogoro says it has already seen nearly 200 million battery swaps to-date. 270,000 swaps take place each day across the Gogoro Network, with riders of both the company’s own models and third-party electric scooters from other hardware partners.

The goal now, though, is to broaden that network from its current operations in locations like Taiwan. Gogoro announced a China expansion back in May, partnering with two high-profile local scooter firms there which will be developing new models compatible with the interchangeable battery packs. Before that, it revealed plans to launch in India.

However the Foxconn collaboration could be even more significant. The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a strategic technology and manufacturing partnership. It’ll build on Gogoro’s product design, tech, marketing, and branding, with Foxconn bringing its manufacturing and global capabilities.

A few key projects have been called out specifically, including smart battery refinement, vehicle engineering, and manufacturing specifically. “As the world embraces smart electric transportation in new ways, a key challenge is how to introduce these new innovative options to people in every corner of the world,” Young Liu, Chairman of Foxconn, pointed out in a statement today. “The Foxconn-Gogoro partnership was established to meet this demand.”

Foxconn hasn’t been coy about its ambitions in mobility. The company has already made numerous investments and partnerships into electric vehicles, for example, including collaborations with automakers Fisker and Byton earlier in 2021. While many may not recognize its name, Foxconn’s role in mass production of things like Apple’s iPhone leaves it a central part of many companies’ supply chains.

Where that leaves Gogoro’s plans for expansion next remains to be seen. The company has always been reluctant to commit to a US launch, for example, citing the very different needs of the American market. Instead, it launched an e-bike company, the Gogoro Eeyo, with another electric motor and battery design that packages the technology into the rear wheel hub. Its goal there is also to license out the drivetrain system to other e-bike manufacturers.

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Gogoro Eeyo e-bike adds Apple Health tracking and new sleep mode

Gogoro’s Eeyo e-bike has a new update, with the latest firmware adding synchronization support for Apple Health and other health trackers, among other improvements. Launched last year, Eeyo might not be mistaken for a motor-assisted bicycle at first glance, with Gogoro’s in-house design squeezing the electric motor and the battery all into the compact rear wheel hub.

At the same time, there are none of the obvious controls that e-bikes typically rely upon to for riders to interact with and control the degree of assistance they’re getting. Instead, Gogoro uses a variety of sensors to track how much effort they’re putting into each pedal stroke, and intelligently adds motor power to amplify that effort.

The result, the company promises, is a more familiar cycling feel for those who want assistance without that sense that they’re being propelled artificially. Indeed beyond the two power modes – accessed via the Eeyo app, which can be accessed from a smartphone mounted on the bike’s integrated phone-holder – there’s no way to adjust the motor assistance. While other e-bikes might pick up more of the slack, Eeyo 1’s big pitch is familiarity of experience for the biking enthusiast.

Now, that enthusiast can log just how much effort they’re putting in. Released today, the Eeyo v1.2 app brings Apple Health sync support: you’ll be able to add your Eeyo bike as a data source in the Health app on iPhone, and have your riding metrics imported into your profile. For those on Android, there’s data sharing with other health apps.

Exercise tracking for e-bikes can be tricky, given traditional ways of measuring effort while cycling – such as via a smartwatch – can be confused by the speed you’re traveling at versus the effort you’re putting in. This new update for Eeyo 1 follows Gogoro’s last new firmware release in December 2020, which began showing calories burned during riding. That was calculated using data from the torque sensor within the Smartwheel, which the company said was “an estimate on par with some of the most trusted cycling computers.”

This v1.2 app also adds a range estimate to the e-bike’s dashboard, and a battery charging reminder so that you don’t walk out in the morning and discover the Smartwheel hasn’t enough power to help you get to work (or the coffee shop). There’s also a new sleep option, which can be set to activate after a preset time and put the Eeyo 1 into a low-power state. Alternatively, it can be left to simply lock itself as is the current behavior.

The new Eeyo app 1.2 is available to download now. You’ll obviously need to be using an iPhone if you want Apple Health integration; Android users get integration with the health tracking apps on their phones. As well as the smartphone update, there’s also new firmware for the e-bike itself, which you’ll be prompted to install when your phone connects to the bike.

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