Taipei, Feb. 4 (CNA) Gogoro's Smartscooter, an electric scooter that has a sleek design and is connected to the Internet of Things, has been the main reason for the rapid growth of electric motorbikes in Taiwan last year, an analyst has said.
According to the statistics released by the Environmental Protection Administration, a total of 20,628 electric motorbikes were sold in Taiwan in 2016. Among them, 62 percent were Taiwanese brand Gogoro Smartscooters, while 22 percent were China Motor's motorbikes.
Although electric motorbikes accounted for only 5 percent of the total scooters sold in 2016, the growth of nearly 260 percent from the 11,087 units sold in 2015 was still "stunning," according to Eric Chang (張仙平), an analyst with Topology Research Institute of Trend Force Corp.
He said that electric motorbikes used to be light motorbikes, but Gogoro's Smartscooter has broken the stereotype to become the first heavy motorbike in Taiwan.
Gogoro's motorbikes also can travel as fast as traditional gasoline-powered scooters. Users can also swap batteries at battery stations, without having to recharge the vehicles on their own.
But Chang admitted that to promote new energy vehicles, the crucial factors will be price and government subsidies to lure consumers.
A report by the Automotive Research and Testing Center said that countries such as the Netherlands and Norway have offered tax incentives to electric motorbike users.
Chang noted that some European countries even offer special lanes for electric motorbikes.