Honda, KTM, Piaggio & Yamaha set up swappable battery consortium

Honda, KTM, Piaggio & Yamaha set up swappable battery consortium

Honda, KTM, Piaggio and Yamaha have formally announced the formation of a new consortium to produce swappable batteries for motorcycles. The plans to form the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) were first announced in March 2021, when the four manufacturers signed a letter of intent for setting up an EV battery swapping business. With a goal to adhere to a set of shared standards, all the four companies planned to start their work in May this year. But, the formation of the JV took a few more months.

By combining their power and resources, the four manufacturers have dedicated plans that they will try to pursue: developing common mechanical specifications for their swappable EV battery systems; confirming common usage of battery systems; creating and promoting their agreed-upon specifications as European as well as international standards; and expanding the agreed-upon technical specifications to be adopted around the world.

Takuya Kinoshita, senior executive officer of the Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd., described the formation of the SBMC in Europe as the “first step” in the direction of drawing like-minded companies to bring about transformative changes in the electric vehicle (EV) sector.

Honda’s Yoshishige Nomura said, “In the Consortium we have created, the founding members from the motorcycle industry and other stakeholders will work together towards standardizing swappable batteries, their charging systems and surrounding infrastructure to create the environment for their use.”

Nomura added that their final goal would be to ensure that motorcycles would continue to be a useful as well as affordable method of transportation in future mobility.

Piaggio’s chief of strategy & product, Michele Colaninno; and Pierer Mobility AG CEO Stefan Pierer also lauded the formation of the consortium. The executives said that the consortium agreement would play a key role in ensuring that they continue to grow and deliver innovation at pace.

The partners expressed hope that the JV would allow them to unify the differing technical specs and standards to maximize the merits of electric power for consumers around the globe.

Having a whole bunch of different manufacturers coming together to develop products with common technical standards is not a new thing. It fact, such efforts are essential to make it easier for the general consumers to adapt to new technologies. Thus, the SBMC is also inviting any other interested stakeholders to join the newly set up battery JV.