Yamaha, Honda, KTM, and Piaggio Team Up to Create Swappable Batteries Consortium

Yamaha, Honda, KTM, and Piaggio Team Up to Create Swappable Batteries Consortium

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has announced 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 (EVs).

By extending the range, shortening the charging time, and lowering vehicle and infrastructure costs, the manufacturers will try to address key customer concerns on electromobility.

The new consortium aims to define the standardized technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to the L-category; mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles, and quadricycles.

The founding members of the Consortium will be involved in the creation of international technical standards.

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.

The Consortium is expected to start its activities in May 2021. The four founding members encourage all interested stakeholders to join the cooperation to enrich the consortium’s expertise.

Speaking on the creation of swappable battery consortium, the Executive Officer & Chief General Manager of Motorcycle Business Operations, Yamaha Motor, Takuya Kinoshita stated, “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 of 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,” Takuya added.

The argument between swappable batteries versus customised batteries, as some manufacturers have gone for, has become well established by now. Manufacturers using heir own batteries claim that it is needed to deliver the special features, warranties and  competitive advantage they offer. Detractors point out that more likely, it is an effort to justify brand premiums and margins on a component that is still almost 30 percent of an EV’s cost.

We believe the future will need to have a swappable battery eco system, if nothing else than to drive costs lower and make ease of adoption faster. In an era of global manufacturing best practices, battery manufacturing will definitely evolve to a standardised and modular format compatible with multiple vehicle categories. .

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.