As domestic electric-scooter maker Gogoro continues to expand across Taiwan, there are bound to be a few speed bumps along the way. The company, which holds a dominant share of Taiwan’s electric vehicle market, relies on its network of battery exchanges to ensure drivers can conveniently maintain power levels on their scooters. One of those battery exchanges recently malfunctioned and caught on fire.
The Zhongli District fire department in Taoyuan dispatched six fire engines and 17 firefighters to extinguish a fire outside a 7-Eleven along Yuanhua Road across from Zhongzheng Park at 8:41 pm on May 24. The fire had been extinguished by 7-Eleven employees and passersby before the fire department arrived and no casualties were reported.
The battery exchanged was dismantled the following morning. Gogoro said in a statement that the battery exchange had overheated and the company’s system received a warning. The company cut off power to the location after receiving the system warning to prevent more serious problems, but it was too late to prevent the fire from starting. Gogoro said that it is the first instance of a battery exchange catching fire and that the company is investigating the cause of the incident.
Gogoro assured users that its battery stations are monitored 24 hours a day and safety measures are in place to prevent incidents, such as fires. The company statement added, “Gogoro batteries have passed many international safety certifications and have provided more than 37.94 million safe battery exchanges to date, making it the world’s largest battery exchange system. Providing a safe and stable service is Gogoro’s most important commitment to the owner.”
The damage was concentrated on the read exhaust system and the power lines were not damaged in the fire. Initial investigations point to a ventilation system malfunction.
Following the incident, a few people interviewed by Apple Daily raised concerns over the safety of electric scooters. The people interviewed added that outdoor charging stations may suffer weather-related damage, creating the potential for future fires. The Taiwanese media outlet did not interview any experts on the subject.