Finally: A small electric car that uses Gogoro’s swappable battery packs

Today at the Japan Mobility Show, we’re getting our first look at an electric car concept that employs Gogoro’s swappable batteries. Called the Project X, it’s an initiative from the MIH Consortium developed by Foxconn.

With over a million of them on the road and counting, Gogoro’s swappable batteries have become the de facto standard for electric scooters.

It seems that nearly every time I write an article about a new Gogoro scooter or the expansion of the company’s swappable battery network, comments flow in about how small electric cars should use a similar battery system.

And they’re absolutely right – tiny electric cars that have multiple swappable batteries small enough to lift by hand would be a great way to democratize EVs in cities, especially for apartment dwellers without access to convenient charging locations. Why hunt for a place to charge at street-level and wait around for hours when you could just swap the batteries out in seconds like an oversized power drill?

The new Project X concept looks to address that scenario by creating an electric microcar that is powered by the same Gogoro batteries used in hundreds of thousands of battery swaps for electric scooters each day.

The design includes two bays for Gogoro’s batteries to be inserted. Most electric scooters use either one or two Gogoro batteries, and so a heavier electric car certainly needs at least two batteries.

I’d guess that four is likely a more appropriate number, though the whole point of the swappable battery system is to make range figures irrelevant. Since a six-second battery swap replaces a several-hour charging stop, urban users can simply swap and go while they are on their way.

The vehicle is said to offer customizable levels of autonomous driving from Level 2 to Level 4, as well as an adaptable interior with either a 2- or 3-seater design. When configured for two passengers, there’s more space remaining in the rear for cargo.

Those that want to see the car in the flesh can check it out at the MIH booth at the Japan Mobility Show 2023, where it will be on display from now until November 5. 

gogoro battery swap

Electrek’s Take

Well, it’s about time! Gogoro’s batteries are an ideal swapping solution and I’ve had the pleasure of using them several times a week on my own electric scooter. Putting them in slightly larger vehicles to power electric microcars feels like a no-brainer to me. It makes such small electric cars even more attractive while giving cities even more reasons to install Gogoro’s swap stations.

The tech has already been proven in Taiwan, where thousands of stations dot the country. I haven’t seen it myself, but the density map below looks so hot in places that I’m guessing you can probably stand at one Gogoro swap station and see another one down the road. And keep in mind that the data from that map is a year and a half old, meaning there are even more stations deployed around the country today.

They’ve made it as easy as possible for people to switch to small electric vehicles like electric scooters, and the numbers speak for themselves with hundreds of thousands of battery swaps performed each day. As Gogoro’s batteries have expanded into other countries like India, China, Indonesia, The Philippines, South Korea, Israel, and others, we’re seeing firsthand how the system can meet the needs of riders (and perhaps soon drivers) around the world.

There’s of course no word yet on whether Project X will become a reality. But with Foxconn behind it, there’s a decent chance that this idea has wheels. The company is a leading manufacturer and already makes several electric vehicles as well as Gogoro’s batteries, so it sounds like a great match to me.

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