4 bike makers create consortium for swappable batteries

honda-pxc-electric

Following the conditions of the Paris Climate Agreement and the transition to electromobility, companies Honda, Yamaha, KTM, and Piaggio signed a letter of intent to create a Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and Light Electric Vehicles. The founding members of the Consortium recognize the need for a standardized swappable battery system will encourage the widespread use of electric vehicles and promote a more sustainable life-cycle management of batteries used in the transport sector.

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Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Managing Officer, Motorcycle Operations, Noriaki Abe said, “The worldwide electrification effort to reduce CO2 on a global scale is accelerating, especially in Europe. 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.”

Part of what the Consortium is looking at is extending the range, shortening the charging time, and lowering vehicle and infrastructure costs which could answer the customers’ main concerns regarding the future of electromobility.

The aim of the Consortium will be to come up with a standardized technical specification of a swappable battery system for motor vehicles in the L-category which will include mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles. The founding members of the Consortium look to work hand in hand with interested stakeholders and national, European and international standardization bodies to come up with a homogenized system.

The institution of the Consortium could pave the way for better and safer electric motor vehicles in the foreseeable future. That said, with multinational companies like Honda, Yamaha, KTM, and Piaggio coming together for such an initiative, the realization of a uniform and regulated electric motor vehicles can happen anytime soon.

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“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,” commented KTM AG CEO, Stefan Pierer.

The Consortium will start its campaign in May 2021. Honda, Yamaha, KTM, and Piaggio encourage all interested stakeholders to join the cooperation to enrich the Consortium’s expertise in the said matter. 

Photos from Honda and KTM 

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