After months of negotiations, the Europe-based Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) now has a signed agreement that allows it to move forward. The goal of the organization, made up of Honda Motor Company, KTM F&E, Piaggio Group, and Yamaha Motor Company, is to create standardized swappable batteries for mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, tricycles, and quadricycles.Here are the four goals of the SBMC:
Develop common technical specifications of the swappable battery systems
Confirm common usage of the battery systems
Make, and promote, the Consortium’s common specifications as a standard within European and International standardization bodies
Expand the use of the Consortium’s common specification to global level
The SBMC will work on various initiatives, including setting international technical standards for batteries, promoting charging stations, and making it easier for users to find the stations.Heavyweights from the four concerns that make up the SBMC weighed in on various plans.Michele Colaninno, Chief of Strategy and Product of Piaggio Group: “Urban mobility is going through a delicate moment of transition towards electrification. Thanks to our Consortium, representing four major global players, motorbikes will continue to play a key role in the urban context. Swappable batteries give the right answer to speed up the recharging time of vehicles offering an additional valuable choice for users. Urban mobility is part of the Piaggio DNA and history. Our aim is to bring all our technological know-how and attitude for innovation to the Consortium.”Yoshishige Nomura, Chief Officer, Motorcycle Operations, Honda Motor Company: “Honda believes that the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles can play an important part in realizing a more sustainable society. For that purpose, we need to solve several challenges such as extending the range, shortening the charging time, and lowering the vehicle and infrastructure costs to enhance convenience for customers. In the Consortium we have created, the founding members from the motorcycle industry and other stakeholders will work together towards standardizing swappable batteries, their charging systems, and surrounding infrastructure to create the environment for their use. Our final goal is to ensure that motorcycles will continue to be chosen as a useful method of transportation in future mobility.”Stefan Pierer, CEO Pierer Mobility AG, the holding company of KTM AG: “The signing of this Consortium agreement is a key step in ensuring that Pierer Mobility AG can continue to move forward, deliver innovation at pace, and advance its clear strategic vision for electric-powered two-wheelers. Together with our partners, we will work to deliver a swappable battery system for low voltage vehicles up to 11kW capacity, based on international technical standards. We very much look forward to ensuring that powered two-wheeler vehicles maintain their role in the future of both urban and nonurban mobility.”Takuya Kinoshita, Senior Executive Officer, Chief General Manager of Land Mobility Business Operations, Yamaha Motor Compay: “The Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium in Europe is finally ready to get to work. I hope that this first step forward will be a beacon that draws like-minded parties to our mission and leads to transformative changes for the future. We at Yamaha Motor are confident that through this initiative, we can help unify the differing technical specs and standards and contribute to maximizing the merits of electric power for customers around the world.”The SBMC is not a closed group, and it is encouraging other manufacturers to join the organization.
Associate Editor Teejay Adams recently attended the Yamaha Champions Riding School in Las Vegas, and she took with her the Yamaha XSR900 that she’s been riding for a while. This is the retro-style version of the MT-09, and Teejay gives us her impressions of the bike, including her thoughts versus the XSR700 that she rode previously.
The guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In our second segment, Teejay chats with Cait Maher, a contributing journalist at motorcycle.com and owner of a Yamaha TW200. The two ladies met at the recent launch of Kawasaki’s dual sport KLX230s. Teejay is a total novice off-road. Cait however, although quite experienced in the dirt including her recent venture on the District 37 Barstow to Las Vegas dual-sport ride, still doesn’t consider herself an expert. Both of these girls have a positive, upbeat attitude, and their fun, energetic outlook shines through. Cait is definitely a give-it-a-go type of personality. Her take on the various challenges, experiences and adventures that she’s had make for fun listening.