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Trip to Taiwan: Discovering the Moped Culture道場

Trip to Taiwan: Discovering the Moped Culture道場


NeilCummings225 (道場主)


Taiwan is one of the world's most active hubs for shared electric micromobility. Taiwan can be considered as an innovation hub for the future of mobility because it is a traditional two-wheeler market with mopeds and bikes dominating the streets. Taiwan presents a tremendous example for leading global mobility technologies, from user-based battery swapping to a robust electrification of motorcycles and mopeds.
Timo Eccarius, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at National Cheng Kung University, is interviewed. Since then, Timo has lived and worked in Taiwan, where he has established himself as a prominent expert in the field of micromobility. His study focuses on ways to transform people's travel habits toward more sustainable modes of transportation, particularly with the use of shared, electric-powered two-wheeler mobility such as e-scooters, e-mopeds, and e-bikes.
In Taiwan, what function does micromobility play?

Taiwan is micromobility utopia in certain ways, yet it is a bit of a monoculture. E-scooters and e-bikes aren't as popular as they once were. Taiwanese people, on the other hand, rely on and adore their largely fossil-fueled mopeds and motorcycles. The country has the world's highest density of powered two-wheelers, with about two for every three residents (a total of 14 million). Despite its wealth (a purchasing power adjusted GDP per capita equivalent to Germany's), Taiwan has not adopted automobility as its primary means of transportation. When navigating through congested areas, two-wheelers are more practical and faster. Even vehicle owners keep their mopeds as a practical mode of transportation around the city.

What is the state of Taiwan's shared mobility market?

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Bike sharing has been a huge success. Around 20 years ago, when I first visited Taiwan, I rarely saw anyone cycling. Youbike is now available in almost every city. The next generation system, for example, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, plans to have bicycle docks every 200 metres.

WeMo was the first company to provide e-moped sharing six years ago. Then, in 2019, GoShare, a Gogoro subsidiary, entered the market, giving it a boost. In order to compete with the new, well-funded entry, incumbents WeMo and iRent were compelled to grow more aggressively. Most cities that have e-moped sharing now have at least two competitors.

Is moped sharing becoming more popular in Taiwan?

In Taiwan, the success of shared micromobility is inextricably tied to the success of electrification, particularly the Gogoro e-mopeds. The company's appealing look and performance, along with an innovative battery switching system, increased Taiwanese awareness and openness to e-moped sharing. Even GoShare's rivals acknowledge this.

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Taiwan's e-moped sharing enterprises also undertake a lot of cross-promotion with partners in other industries. For instance, limited-time discounts on high-speed rail, travel packages, restaurants, convenience stores, and music performances, to name a few examples. Some companies offer their services utilising the same smartcard or smartphone-based payment method that individuals use for public transportation.

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