Hero MotoCorp announces tie-up with Gogoro, to build battery swapping network in India

In a move that is bound to boost to the electric two-wheeler market in the country, Hero MotoCorp has announced it has entered a strategic partnership with Taiwanese electric scooter manufacturer Gogoro to tap into India’s nascent EV two-wheeler space. In a press note issued earlier today, the world’s largest two-wheeler maker said it will – in partnership with Gogoro – build a battery swapping network across India, and the strategic tie-up will also result in the birth of Hero-branded, Gogoro Network-powered electric two-wheelers.

Gogoro – established in 2011 – has grown quite popular in its home country since the launch of its first e-scooter in 2015. The company believed it could make a swappable battery system work for two-wheelers, taking the hassle of long charging times out of the equation. Today, Gogoro has over 2,000 battery swap stations that handle up to 265,000 swaps on a daily basis.

Soon, Hero MotoCorp will launch its own electric two-wheelers based on existing Gogoro models. Image: Gogoro/Tech2

The batteries and charging stations are all linked to the Gogoro Network cloud service, which keeps a tab on battery condition and accordingly decides how fast they need to charge. With this system in place, battery life is prolonged, and the company claims not even one of its batteries has been retired in the last six years, despite over 174 million battery swaps till date.

The ‘Powered by Gogoro Network’ programme gives Gogoro’s partners access to the company’s innovations and intellectual property, including its drivetrains and controllers, components and smart systems, so they can develop and roll out their own electric vehicles that integrate Gogoro Network battery swapping.

Gogoro's battery swap system eliminates long charging times, making electric two-wheelers much more practical. Image: Gogoro

Yamaha is one two-wheeler major that has collaborated with Gogoro, launching an electric scooter based on a Gogoro model but with unique Yamaha bodywork, and Hero MotoCorp is expected to do the same, building new Hero e-scooters using existing Gogoro models as the base. These electric two-wheelers are set to be launched in India first, and subsequently also sold in international markets where Hero MotoCorp operates.

Speaking on the tie-up, Dr Pawan Munjal, Chairman and CEO at Hero MotoCorp, said, “This partnership will further extend the work, which we are doing at our R&D hubs at the Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur & our Tech Centre in Germany”. With this new partnership, we commit to introducing a sustainable mobility paradigm, first in India and then in other markets around the world.”

Interestingly, Hero MotoCorp also owns a near-35 percent stake in Ather Energy, one of the top electric two-wheeler manufacturers in India. This announcement comes at a time when Ather Energy is making inroads into new markets across the country, and Ola Electric readies to enter the space with its first electric scooter some time by the middle of 2021.

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