Prior to the MiH Consortium that is to take place tomorrow, Foxconn has signed a MoU with Gogoro, Taiwan’s leading e-motorbike manufacturer, to cooperate on battery swapping technologies. Through its battery swap system, Gogoro quickly rose to prominence since its foundation in 2011. Currently, Gogoro operates 2,100 battery swapping stations, with nearly 200 million battery swaps conducted in total.
What’s in it for Gogoro?
The strategic partnership between Foxconn and Gogoro will see the latter leveraging Foxconn’s global manufacturing capabilities to scale up production and meet global demands. Meanwhile, Gogoro itself will concentrate on product design, technology development, marketing and branding, distribution and customer service channels.
Similar to Foxconn’s MiH open platform, in 2019 Gogoro spun off its battery swapping system, Gogoro Network, into an open platform that would serve new entrants into the e-scooter market. The strategy is enhanced by the Powered by Gogoro Network Program that provides partnering e-motorbike manufacturers access to Gogoro’s proprietary technologies, such as drivetrains, controllers and smart systems.
Recently, Gogoro even entered partnerships with Chinese and Indian e-motorbike manufacturers, seeking access into the world’s largest markets. Conveniently for Gogoro, Foxconn also has extensive presence in these two countries. Approximately 75% of Foxconn’s current manufacturing capacity is in China, according to Foxconn CEO Young Liu.
What’s in it for Foxconn?
The cooperation with Gogoro also benefits Foxconn significantly. Firstly, Foxconn’s EV roadmap will include a full spectrum of various vehicle types, from bus, passenger cars to motorbikes. Secondly, it will gain experience with manufacturing EV components.
Most importantly, battery swapping technologies have been gaining traction in the Chinese EV market, following the Chinese EV manufacturer Nio’s successful deployment of it. Since 2018, Nio has already operated about 200 battery swap stations across China and is planning to reach 500 stations this year. Last year, Nio successfully completed 500,000 battery swaps, and other Chinese automakers are planning their own swapping stations too, such as Geely and Baic Motors.
Notably, Foxconn has already partnered with Geely to provide contract manufacturing for other automakers. If the battery swapping collaboration with Gogoro is extended to cars, it would undoubtedly broaden the reach of Foxconn and Gogoro in China.
Finally, Gogoro’s ecosystem-building strategy abroad might provide something that Foxconn’s MiH platform needs to succeed: entry points into foreign markets, especially for the EV components and the battery products that Foxconn has been working on.