[Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series about the Gogoro Network™ Smart Battery. Catch up on Part 1 here.]
Instead of waiting for battery technology to mature, energy density to increase, and costs to fall, Gogoro set out in 2011 to design a smarter and more convenient way to store and deliver energy to urban two- and three-wheel EVs.
“Rather than a bigger battery or a cheaper battery,” says Horace Luke, CEO and founder of Gogoro. “We built a smarter, safer and more powerful battery to meet the energy demands of cities today and the smart cities of tomorrow.”
We call it the Gogoro Network™ Smart Battery and it’s the world’s smartest, safest and most powerful light electric vehicle battery.
The Gogoro Network™ Smart Battery doesn’t just store energy—it also carries information. Each Smart Battery contains an array of sensors and a micro computer that allow it to wirelessly and securely communicate with the outside world.
That cloud-connected flow of data is what allows the Gogoro Network to intelligently scale and distribute energy without overloading the grid whenever and wherever a rider needs a battery swap. That data helps future-proof Smart Batteries with every swap by keeping them up to date with the latest software to increase longevity, efficiency and capacity down to each individual energy cell. Onboard intelligence makes battery theft nearly impossible while ensuring that all rider information is fully secure.
As the Gogoro Network continues to grow, everything gets smarter. Irregular electrochemical patterns are automatically identified so that issues are caught and solved before they result in failures. Battery life is extended with every software update, and each new hardware generation is informed by the real-life experiences of the last.
The need for a shared and swappable battery brought about another challenge for Gogoro’s engineers and designers. This would be the first major EV battery where interaction with the battery was an integral part of the rider experience; it was no longer hidden in the chassis.
As with every Gogoro innovation, the rider sits at the center of our design process. This new battery needed to be safe, simple and comfortable to use, easily accessible, yet durable enough to endure years of swaps and drops, water and heat, even typhoons and earthquakes.
The result: No cables or wires to fuss with and the convenience to swap and go in a matter of seconds. With industry recognized safety certifications and round-the-clock monitoring, Gogoro Network subscribers have swapped over 140 million Smart Batteries without incident since 2015.
With a smart, swappable, user-friendly battery design and scalable network of battery swapping stations to more easily distribute energy, we turned our focus on increasing density (think: range and power) to better meet the expectations of urban dwellers.
As it turns out, the biggest challenge to increasing density is managing heat. Lithium-ion batteries are particularly sensitive to high temperatures and when lots of battery cells are crammed into a tight space, the heat generated when charging and discharging can be difficult to keep in check.
Gogoro engineers tackled this with an innovative thermal protection hallmark that absorbs heat and keeps Smart Batteries operating at an optimal temperature.
But the Gogoro Network Smart Battery is more than just a brawny and brainy battery, it’s the foundation for a platform that any vehicle manufacturer can harness. We don’t get to the future we all deserve by operating in a vacuum and by opening up the Gogoro Network platform to others, consumers have more options to choose from and the shift to cleaner and sustainable urban transportation becomes a reality.
Part 3 here.