Yamaha, Honda, KTM and Piaggio Form Consortium for Standarized, Swappable Batteries
The big manufacturers will be diving head-first into electric motorcycle production. If you have any doubts about this, yesterday’s announcement regarding the formation of a consortium to create a standardized, swappable battery system among Yamaha, Honda, KTM and Piaggio should convince you.
With the relatively short travel range of most electric motorcycles (at least, at this point) and the relatively long re-charge times required, electric motorcycles’ practical use can be severely limited. With longer ranges, and very little wait to re-charge (pull out your battery and swap in a fully charged one at the station) these limitations could be resolved.
The following press release is from Yamaha, one member of the new consortium (although, it is at the “letter of intent” stage currently). It brings to mind the question of whether other electric motorcycle manufacturers will try to join this consortium, such as Zero and Harley-Davidson, or whether they will try to go it on their own or with another group.
Here is the press release from Yamaha:
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announces today that the company has signed a Letter of Intent with Honda Motor Co., Ltd. , KTM AG and Piaggio & C SpA to set up a Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and light Electric Vehicles.
In the context of the Paris Climate Agreement and the transition to electromobility, the founding members of the Consortium believe that the availability of a standardized swappable battery system would both promote the widespread use of light electric vehicles and contribute to more sustainable life cycle management of batteries used in the transport sector.
Also, by extending the range, shortening the charging time and lowering vehicle and infrastructure costs, the manufacturers will try to answer customers‘ main concerns regarding the future of electromobility.
The aim of the Consortium will, therefore, be to define the standardized technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to the L-category; mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles. By working closely with interested stakeholders and national, European and international standardization bodies, the founding members of the Consortium will be involved in the creation of international technical standards.
The Consortium will start its activities in May 2021. The four founding members encourage all interested stakeholders to join the cooperation to enrich the Consortium’s expertise.
Executive Officer Takuya Kinoshita, Chief General Manager of Motorcycle Business Operations, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.:
“I believe the creation of this Consortium holds great significance not just for Europe but the world as we move towards establishing standards for swappable batteries for light electric vehicles. I’m confident that through work like this, the technical specs and standards, that currently differ by regional characteristics or the state of the industry in different markets will be unified, and, in the future, will help lead towards maximizing the merits of electric power for customers on a global level.”