Get ready for the Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and Light Electric Vehicles made up of Honda, KTM, Piaggio, and Yamaha. The goal is to develop standardized swappable batteries for motorcycles, mopeds, trikes, and ATVs.
The Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and Light Electric Vehicles will work with various standardization bodies for Europe, individual countries, and global organizations. This way, the new organization can create international technical standards that will benefit its members’ products.
“The worldwide electrification effort to reduce CO2 on a global scale is accelerating, especially in Europe,” Noriaki Abe, Managing Officer, Motorcycle Operations, Honda Motor Co., noted. “For the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles, problems such as travel distance and charging times need to be addressed, and swappable batteries are a promising solution. Considering customer convenience, standardization of swappable batteries and wide adoption of battery systems is vital, which is why the four-member manufacturers agreed to form the Consortium. Honda views improving the customers’ usage environment as an area to explore cooperation with other manufacturers, while bringing better products and services to customers through competition. Honda will work hard on both fronts to be the ‘chosen’ manufacturer for customer mobility.”
KTM AG CEO Stefan Pierer had this to say: “Sustainability is one of the key drivers to the future of mobility, and electrification will play a major role in achieving this goal. For powered two-wheelers, the constraints of electric drivetrains regarding range, charging time, and initial cost are still evident. To overcome these challenges and provide a better customer experience, a swappable battery system based on international technical standards will become a viable solution. Considering the entire lifecycle, a widespread application of batteries compliant with a common standard will support secondary use as well as circular economy. We are glad to be part of the Consortium as we strive towards our goals in the e-mobility sector.”
The Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and Light Electric Vehicles will get underway in May, and is encouraging other manufacturers to join in. With the current range and charging times of electric motorcycles, activities such as cross-country motorcycle touring is impractical via electric power. However, if batteries can be hot-swapped at convenient locations, it may not take much more time to change batteries than fill a fuel tank.
At the current time, none of the four motorcycle companies in the Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and Light Electric Vehicles offer electric-powered motorcycles in the United States. This cooperation between Honda, KTM, Piaggio, and Yamaha may accelerate the appearance of electric-powered motorcycles from those four companies.