KTM, Piaggio, Honda, Yamaha Working Together On Swappable Batteries

Segway Apex H2 concept rear angle

The four automakers have come together to establish a consortium, aiming to push the adoption of electric two-wheelers globally

Piaggio, Honda, KTM, and Yamaha have set up a consortium for encouraging the use of swappable batteries for light EVs like electric motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters. Christened ‘Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium’ (SBMC), this new project will set up common technical specifications for EV batteries to allow for better sustainable management.

With electrification taking hold of the global automobile industry, swappable battery tech could be the next big thing, at least for electric two-wheelers. Theoretically speaking, it’s an extremely practical system; one can ride around till the battery lasts, and when it drains completely, it could be replaced by charged ones in a matter of minutes instead of waiting for hours for the battery to charge completely.

In a joint statement, the automakers stated that the consortium will focus on battery life, recharging times, charging infrastructure, costs involved, and other such issues. It will also aim to define standard international technical specifications for swappable batteries. With an established standard, it would be easier for the manufacturers involved to focus on sustainable development and management of EV batteries.

Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium

Other manufacturers are welcome to join the consortium as well, the joint statement said, which would help extend the standards. Piaggio Chief of Strategy and Product Michele Colaninno said, “Urban mobility is going through a delicate transition moment towards electrification. Thanks to this consortium motorbikes will keep their key role.

Honda’s Motorcycle Operations Chief Officer Yoshishige Nomura said that the “use [of swappable battery tech] on large scale can substantially contribute to the creation of a more sustainable society,” by making electric two-wheelers more convenient for the average buyers. The consortium will focus on establishing an EV charging network as well in various countries, which will likely include battery swapping stations, thus enhancing convenience further.

We expect this upcoming swappable battery tech to be unveiled in the coming years. RnD takes time, and the consortium will also focus on establishing common technical specs that would work on a global scale, which is a herculean task in all honesty. That said, this would be a major step towards electrification and sustainable growth of the auto industry.