E-bikes are having a moment in the COVID-19 era, as they offer a reliable form of transportation that’s both environmentally sound and socially distanced. Eschewing the traditional cargo hauler reputation of electric bikes, Gogoro is betting big on the fact that biking is fun—and that most e-bikes, well, aren’t.
Built for agility, the Eeyo is an ultralight e-bike can be thrown over your shoulder, charged on the go, and ridden like a sport bike—so you can really hug those curves.
Launching in the US, Europe, and Taiwan this summer, the Eeyo 1s is a carbon fiber e-bike that weighs in at an incredibly light 26.4 pounds. The pedal-assist bike has a range of 40-55 miles and a top speed of 19 mph, and Gogoro is positioning it as the sports car of the e-bike world.
"You have people that buy SUVs, and you have people that buy four-door sedans—and that’s fine, that’s what people should do if they want to carry a bunch of stuff and be comfortable getting there," explains Gogoro founder and CEO Horace Luke.
"What we wanted to focus on was the sports car crowd. Maybe not the Ferrari or Lamborghini sports car, but the Miata and Porsche Boxster crowd—the really quick, zippy cars. It’s the kind of vehicle that when you get off and look back you say ‘Wow, that was fun. I can’t wait to get back on.’"
Unlike most e-bikes, the secret ingredient isn’t in the frame. This is a true bike frame—there are no wires, no electronics, and no motor to be found. The Eeyo 1s (and its less-expensive, slightly heavier sibling the Eeyo 1) are powered entirely by the Eeyo SmartWheel. Sitting on the rear hub, the wheel contains all the bike’s electronics: the technology, the motor, the battery, the connectivity, and the computer. It also packs a sophisticated torque sensor that measures how much power you put into pedaling and multiplies it at a rate that makes your ride feel natural.
"I call it a human/electric hybrid," says Luke, whose work at Nike, Microsoft, and smartphone manufacture HTC puts him in a unique position to understand the synergy between man and machine. "Eeyo just takes all the power that you put into it amplifies it in the most direct and the most natural way you can imagine—it’s hard to use words to describe it."
Luke realizes that the Eeyo 1s and 1 likely have a niche market, "We know it’s not for everyone," he says. But its technology is. In the same way that Gogoro’s industry-leading Smartscooter established a platform for companies (such as Yamaha, Suzuki, and others) to build battery-swapping motorbikes, Luke sees the Eeyo SmartWheel changing the e-bike industry and driving it forward.
"We wanted to create a bike that really inspired not only the consumer but the industry. Inspired them to build different types of vehicles and innovate on its usability," says Luke. "Everybody needs to get around a little more healthily, right? We can’t all sit in a four-wheeled car in traffic, pumping things out of the tailpipe. But not everybody can afford a Tesla. Not everybody can afford a brand-new electric vehicle—but a new bike is a great in-between product."
The name Eeyos is derived from Aeos, the horse that drives the Sun god Helios’s chariot across the sky in Greek mythology. "It’s a name that talks about both powering a vehicle, and about the sun—solar power and renewable energy," says Luke. These two aspects get to the heart of Gogoro’s mission to create smarter and cleaner transportation choices for people who live and work in cities.
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