TRAVEL 2018/ 01/ 17

OTS joins Sumitomo in GOGORO electric scooter sharing venture in Ishigaki

Okinawa Tourist Service concluded a strategic partnership on Jan. 17th with Tokyo-based trading company Sumitomo Corp. that has introduced a sharing service for electric scooters in Ishigaki City.

According to OTS Chairman Yoshikazu Higashi, OTS “is entering into the partnership to bring its rental car business know-how into the scooter sharing service starting in February.” Higashi said that OTS will be involved in the customer window service, maintenance, tour planning and other aspects of the business to support the operation.

Discussing about the new venture, Higashi added that, “We will pay special attention to safety and environmental issues and disseminate the impact and attractiveness of the scooter sharing to new tourism. We would like to expand the business to other remote islands and Okinawa main island after starting with Ishigaki.”

The service will be developed mainly by e-SHARE Ishigaki, a 100% consolidated subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp. In addition to introducing 100 electric scooters made by Gogoro of Taiwan that are popular in Europe, there are four charging stations installed on the island. Electricity to the charging stations is supplied from the photovoltaic power generation facilities that Ishigaki City built with a government subsidy.

Based on the strategic partnership, OTS will dispatch employees to e – SHARE Ishigaki and utilize the know – how from the OTS car rental business.

Gogoro scooters use replaceable batteries that take only seconds to replace. which eliminates charging time for customers. The cost, tax included, is ¥1,500 per hour for 50cc and ¥2,500 per hour for 125cc scooters. The daily fee applies to rentals of 4 hours or more. The full day charge is ¥6,000 for 50 cc and ¥10,000 for 125 cc scooters.

Briefing and test ride sessions were held for the media on Jan. 31st.