TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Gogoro electric scooter rider on Saturday (June 4) found himself stranded near the summit of a 3,000-meter mountain pass after his batteries ran out of power.
The rider, surnamed Wu (吳), set out to ride his Gogoro from Taichung to Hualien. He managed to make his way through the 3,275-meter-high Wuling Pass, the highest point of Provincial Highway 14A, reported CNA.
However, after passing through the Guanyuan section a few kilometers away, he found that the road was closed. Wu then began to turn back, but just after passing the 38.6 kilometer mark at the Luoying Lodge, his batteries died, and he found himself trapped on the mountain road.
A police officer surnamed Lin (林) who happened to be patrolling the area, came upon Wu. He then explained that his batteries had run out of power.
There was no battery swapping GoStation on Hehuan Mountain, and the officer knew from experience that the nearest one was located at a 7-Eleven in Qingjing Farm, approximately 36 kilometers away.
Due to the azalea season on Hehuan Mountain, there is a minibus traveling between Qingjing and Xiaofengkou. Therefore, Lin told Wu to remove his two batteries and drove Wu in his patrol car to the bus station at Xiaofengkou.
At 10 a.m., Wu was then able to catch the bus to Qingjing Farm, where he was able to get fresh batteries. He returned to Xiaofengkou at 1:15 p.m. and was finally able to reach his scooter at 2:15 p.m., when he resumed his journey.
The Hehuan Police Station pointed out that Wu was the third Gogoro rider this year to run out of power at Wuling Pass. Wu was rather fortunate in that there was a bus operating in the area at the time.
According to police, in late February, a Gogoro rider was stranded near Bilu Giant Tree overnight. During that incident, Hehuan police took the rider to Wuling and handed him over to Nantou County Police from Cuifeng Precinct to transport him to the 7-Eleven in Qingjing before taking him back to the Hehuan Police Station.
The whole process took five hours, which officials described as an "extreme waste of official resources," according to the news agency. The Hehuan Police Station pointed out that the nearest battery swapping station to the east of Hehuan Mountain on this route is the Taroko Gas Station, while to the west is the 7-Eleven at Qingjing, which represents a distance of 109 kilometers.
However, each fully charged battery can only run for about 55 kilometers on the steep mountain roads, giving very little margin for error and could inevitably lead to more stranded motorists and further draining police resources. Police then appealed to Gogoro owners to call on the company to set up another GoStation in between the two current stations to ensure the safety of riders.