Record number of electric scooters sold in Taiwan

20,000 electric scooters were sold in Taiwan in 2016, a 98 percent increase from the previous year

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Gogoro Smartscooter

Gogoro Smartscooter (By Wikimedia Commons)

Taipei (Taiwan News) -- The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) announced on Monday that electric scooter sales reached 20,000 units in 2016, a 98 percent increase from the previous year, and Economics Minister Lee Chih-kung (李世光) told reporters that the government will continue to use incentives and expand the charging network in an attempt to double sales this year as well.

Lee told reporters that since the government began an effort to incentivize consumers to replace gasoline-powered scooters with electric models in 2009, the cumulative sales of electric scooters has reached 60,000, though there is still a lot of room for improvement. According to Taiwan's statistics bureau, there were 13,66 million scooters and 7.75 million cars in Taiwan in 2016, the overwhelming majority of which are powered by gas-guzzling internal combustion engines.

Through cutting the commodity tax to zero and providing subsidies for electric scooter buyers, Lee hopes the government can reach its goal of 200,000 units sold by 2021. The government currently offers a subsidy of NT$7,000 (US$233) for the purchase of a lightweight scooter and NT$10,000 for a heavy motorcycle.

The government also plans to expand the charging network in Taiwan to reach a density of one battery charging or replacement station per kilometer.

The largest vendor of electric scooters in Taiwan is Gogoro, which sold 13,000 units last year, about 65 percent of the total. The next largest manufacturer of electric scooters in Taiwan is China Motors, with about 22 percent of the market.