Gogoro plans to use a special purpose acquisition company to break into China’s famously cutthroat automobile sector ahead of a Nasdaq IPO, valuing the electric scooter and battery swapping tech company at $2.35 billion.
Despite investment and supply chain decoupling from China as Beijing pushes down on powerful domestic tech businesses and foreign financing, the debut of Gogoro’s technology in Hangzhou on Monday is a reminder of the Chinese market’s ongoing appeal.
“It’s just a massive market,” says the entrepreneur. The Financial Times quoted Horace Luke, Gogoro’s founder and chief executive, as saying, “There are just so many vehicles on the road there, you have to get in.”
The Taiwanese firm’s entry into China comes despite a slew of obstacles, including intellectual property theft, overcapacity, and fierce rivalry, that have hampered the success of carmakers like as Ford, Hyundai, and Tesla in China.
Gogoro does not sell scooters in China, the world’s largest two-wheeled vehicle market with 300 million riders on the road. Instead, it’s partnering with Yadea, the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheeled electric cars, and Dachangjiang, China’s largest seller of petrol-powered two-wheelers, to deploy its battery swapping technology.
New scooter models are being released by Chinese firms that will be compatible with Gogoro’s swapping network, which will begin with 80 stations in Hangzhou. Drivers can simply swap out drained batteries on the network, avoiding having to charge their scooters themselves.
Luke compared the joint-venture strategy to Microsoft’s or chip designer MediaTek’s approaches in China, where local groups licence platforms and underpinning technologies.