Four major motorcycle manufacturing groups have signed an agreement creating the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC). The agreement follows an initial letter of intent signed on March 1, 2021.
The new consortium says it (is):
Committed to the promotion of the widespread use of light electric vehicles, such as mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles in the transport sector and to the more sustainable life-cycle management of batteries in the context of international climate policies, the founding members of the Consortium believe that the availability of a commonly developed swappable battery systems is key to the development of low-voltage electromobility.
Ultimately, the consortium aims to find:
“…solutions to the concerns customers may have regarding the future of electromobility, such as the range, the charging time and infrastructure, and costs.”
Four primary goals
To accomplish their mission, they have established four primary goals:
- Develop common technical specifications of the swappable battery systems.
- Confirm common usage of the battery systems.
- Make and promote the Consortium’s common specifications a standard within European and International standardization bodies.
- Expand the use of the Consortium’s common specification to global level.
While their mission is a difficult one, it’s even harder due to varying standards in multiple countries. However, the group says that it will work 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.
But more than a single battery standard is required. As the SBMC points out, more than swappable batteries will be necessary to make electro-mobility a solution:
Indeed, the availability of charging stations varies between countries and there is still limited information for end users. Therefore, with this Consortium, KTM, HONDA, PIAGGIO and YAMAHA aim at engaging the decision makers for the development and deployment of charging infrastructure to promote the increase of light electric vehicles.
With the new consortium in place, its members are reaching out to other interested parties. They are encouraging all interested stakeholders:
“…to join the cooperation to enrich the Consortium’s expertise in order to ensure a large diffusion of standard swappable batteries in the future.”
So it seems that some motorcycle/scooter manufacturers have a vision for electro-mobility, be it on two, three, or four wheels. And it appears that a single swappable battery standard may be a step in the right direction.
What do you think about the SBMC? Do you think more manufacturers will join in, or will there be varying battery standards for different manufacturers? Let us know what you think in the comments below.