Although it's been held up by some as a possible solution to the problem of long charging times, battery swapping hasn't really worked out for electric cars so far.

But what about a different type of electric vehicle?

Analysts predict sales of electric scooters will soar in the coming years. They're a good solution for crowded urban areas, where cars are not always the most practical choice.

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And a Taiwanese company plans to take advantage of this projected growth with an unusual business model.

Gogoro sells electric scooters packaged with access to a network of battery-swapping stations.

Rather than plugging their scooters in, owners pull up to one of Gogoro's GoStations and swap their depleted battery packs for fully charged ones.

Gogoro electric scooter

Gogoro electric scooter

The service is currently available only in Taipei, but will expand to Amsterdam next year, according to a recent Navigant Research blog post.

Gogoro delivered its first scooters in Taipei earlier this year. It's sold about 2,000 so far, and opened 90 battery-swap stations in the city.

The company has said that each battery pack can provide a range of up to 60 miles between swaps.

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Battery cells are supplied by Panasonic, which--along with the National Development Fund of Taiwan--also contributed $130 million in Series B funding to Gogoro.

While the possibility of U.S. distribution hasn't been discussed, Gogoro reportedly plans to set up a network of swap stations in Amsterdam beginning in 2016.

The stations will be cloud-connected to the city's electricity grid, in order to coordinate charging with demand.

Gogoro electric scooter

Gogoro electric scooter

That means stations can be programmed to recharge battery packs only when overall demand on the grid is relatively low.

While electric cars get the majority of the attention, electric scooters may be reaching maturity.

Global electric-scooter sales will grow from 4.1 million in 2015 to over 4.4 million in 2024, according to Navigant.

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Perhaps they will prove a better platform for battery swapping than electric cars.

The only recent large-scale attempt at battery swapping was undertaken by Israel's Better Place, which offered an electric-car service in that country using Renault Fluence ZE electric cars. It filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

Tesla Motors has demonstrated equipment that could swap a Model S battery pack in 90 seconds, but so far it's only opened one prototype swap station in California, and the company says that demand from owners is not there.


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