Navigant Research Blog

More Affordable E-Scooters Could Bolster Market

Ryan Citron — October 21, 2015

The high pricing of Gogoro’s electric scooters (e-scooters) for the Taiwanese market has been questioned before. With upfront costs of roughly $4,100, the price is far above what comparable 125 cubic centimeter gasoline-powered scooters are sold for (around $2,600). The high costs are even more apparent when you consider that consumers do not own the batteries powering Gogoro’s e-scooter.

Focus Taiwan reported that the price of Gogoro’s standard e-scooter was reduced to just under $3,000 (a price reduction of roughly 27%) on October 1 in an attempt to satisfy consumer complaints over pricing and to improve the competitiveness of the product when compared to gasoline equivalents. Indian company Mahindra GenZe recently released an e-scooter for the U.S. market with a similar price point of $2,999. Both models are high-quality products and are affordable alternatives to gasoline scooters.

In addition to dropping the price of its base model, Gogoro has also introduced a new, cheaper version called the Gogoro Lite. This entry-level scooter retails for $2,675 and is even more cost-competitive with gasoline models. In its first 3 months on the market, Gogoro sold around 1,000 e-scooters—a fairly small figure considering that over 750,000 scooters are sold in Taiwan each year, according to the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research.

Price Cut Could Have Big Impact

Gogoro’s price reduction strategy drastically improves the financial picture for prospective consumers. The purchase price of the base e-scooter model is now only about $400 more than a gas-powered scooter, while the Gogoro Lite is roughly the same cost. Additional savings on gas and government subsidies make the e-scooter even more appealing. The Taipei city government offers a subsidy of NT$20,000 ($615) per unit that instantly makes both of Gogoro’s futuristic e-scooter models cheaper than a gasoline equivalent. A $30 monthly fee for access to the battery swap network is undoubtedly less expensive than having to refill a gas tank, and potentially more convenient. To date, over 80 battery-swapping stations have been installed in Taipei and New Taipei.

Reduced purchase prices by companies like Mahindra GenZe and Gogoro, combined with government subsidies in select regions and lower operating costs are making high-performance e-scooters more affordable than ever before. Advanced features such as Bluetooth keys, smartphone integration, programmable LED headlights and tail lights, intelligent security systems, digital dashboards, and sleek designs aren’t hurting the burgeoning market either.

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