Think of it as Better Place lite. The Taiwan government and utility companies have plans to help build 60 battery swapping stations for electric motorcycles – and by "electric motorcycles," they mean either electric scooters and/or electric motorcycles – and make 600 of the two-wheelers available to use for free. (Yes, free!) Of course, to take advantage of the situation, one would have to live in either New Taipei City on the north end of the island-country or in Kaohsiung City in the south, as each of those lucky cities will be getting 30 stations apiece. The program should spread to other cities in the future.

The initiative is meant to provide infrastructural support for 5,000 bikes and is being supported by funding from Taiwan's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who created the Electric Motorcycle Battery Swapping System Subsidy Regulations (known locally as 電動機車電池交換系統補助辦法) last summer. Meant to make battery swapping as easy as filling up with gasoline and reduce maintenance worries, the program makes a maximum of NT$1.5 million ($49,430 at today's rates) available for each station installation.

While the hope is that the program will accelerate the change from internal combustion bikes to electric ones and reduce pollution, the task ahead certainly looms large. Taiwan has over 14 million registered machines on its busy streets.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is pretty cool. It would be so much less noisy, smelly, and smoky if those little 2-cycle pieces of crap were replaced with electrics.
        Peter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Best market to go electric!
        upstategreenie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        no ****. some older scooters are polluting as he!!..newer ones are of course all fuel injected. and there are now a LOT of electric motorcycles even before this article. there is also hydro and solar and geothermal and wind and nuclear power side by side!!!!! there is also no debate about manmade global warming. just solutions.
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      The ROC is one of the most advanced 'aternate' transport energy use nations. Yulon Motors, (Luxgen) is about to release and astonishing range of EV's and EREV's. These will become available for export in 2013. As far as EV development is concerned, the ROC will become a major player over the next decade.
      Rob Mahrt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can anyone tell me what motorcycle this is? Uray, maybe it says?
        Domenick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob Mahrt
        Yes, it is from URAY. From looking over their website (http://www.uray.com.tw/), it seems they are a young company from Taiwan.
          Rob Mahrt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Domenick
          Good find, thank you. I love the styling.
      upstategreenie
      • 2 Years Ago
      yes taiwan is pretty awesome. they just switched all lights on every road to LED as well. they are very green and yes it is very crowded. but looks are deceiving. 2/3rds of island is either mountain and other side is all farms. when armageddon happens US is really screwed even though they keep trying to cause it and yet have done nothing to wean off of oil. Taiwan has rail everywhere Metro in kaohsiung and taipei.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @upstategreenie
        Twenty percent of the Island of Taiwan is National Park.
          upstategreenie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          actually believe it or not National Park Area is now 25% now and 31% of total land mass is steep mountains. so right there you already have half the land mass. also dont forget small islands which have nothing but farms and little towns...of course if you work you will still be breathing smog in the industrialized western coast. Taiwan is now trying to somehow capitalize on this as well since industrial slowing down a little, now they are building gondolas. important note as Taiwan election is in two days that leading party supports more sovereignty which also interestingly enough is supported by GOP candidates saying Obama has basically neglected Taiwan while cowering before Communist China. Anyway sometimes it is hard to tell but Taiwan with the worlds' 20th largest economy nonetheless contributes 1% of global carbon emissions!!!!!!! Taiwan is kind of like Israel as article notes. it is small enough to be nimble and do stuff. also like netherlands etc..and maybe even Germany with solar. US sees too big and too partisan and divided now like the old Soviet Union which also imploded due to too many insurmountable differences. also one of world's NEWEST MRTs is in Kaohsiung where the other free rentals will be located. so pretty progressive thinking!!!
      Sukairain
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seriously~ Some governments talk all day about green tech, reduce pollution, PR, rebates, and end up horsing around bailing out failing automakers specilizing in SUVs. Then there are those governments that just kind of DO THINGS~ Wake up America, where is our EV infrastructure!!!
        jeffwishart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        Taiwan is getting 60 stations for a population of 22M, so 1 station for every 370,000 people. The EV Project (http://www.theevproject.com/) is going to result in some 14,000 chargers for 307M people, so 1 station for every 22,000 people. I am not saying that our EV infrastructure deployment is sufficient, but if one compares it to this announcement to Taiwan, it's not accurate to depict the Taiwanese government as more of a "do-er" than the Obama Administration.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jeffwishart
          But isn't it all just pissing in the wind ...the methane wind now bubbling out of the Arctic seabed at a "shocking", catastrophic scale? All the brain-dead biblicals will be find a hell of their own making is just around the corner... and of course they are taking all the rest of us there with them. The only way to avoid catastrophe now is to create catastrophe.
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        "where is our EV infrastructure!!! At your house.
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        where is our EV infrastructure!!! At your house
      upstategreenie
      • 2 Years Ago
      On top of newest metro in world in Kaohsuing, very soon you can take high speed rail directly from intl. airport...unfortunately you prob have to go through US third world airports first......and as we are determined to alienate Taiwan, they will probl be an official province of Communist China very soon as US seems determined to ignore our actual allies and concentrate on fake allies like Saudis etc.... we need a massive paradigm shift in the US and a massive revaluation of priorities...Obama said he is going to change emphasis from Middle East to Asia....by military build up..when we just need to actually support our actual allies. this is also prob. just bowing to pressure from entire GOP field who all criticized Obama for abandoning our allies as well....he is more of a reflexive knee jerk 'leader'.....as well as an 'urban' president. but GOP have nobody legit. to challenge him either who 'believe' in science....jesus we are in de*( sh(*.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should recharge these batteries with solar power for free too.
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        I would bet that they will be out using them when the Sun is up.
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