Following the signing of the Letter of Intent on March 1, Italian scooter maker Piaggio Group (PIA.MI) along with Yamaha Motor Co., KTM AG, and Honda Motor Co. Ltd, encouraged the use of swappable batteries for electric motorcycles and light electric vehicles and finally signed the agreement for the creation of the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC).

The Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) intends to widen the use of light electric vehicles, such as scooters, mopeds and motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles in the transport sector and prop up more sustainable management of batteries. The consortium will focus on multiple issues such as recharging times,  battery life, cost and infrastructure. Also by working closely with interested stakeholders and international standardization bodies,  the founding members of the Consortium will work on defining international standard technical specifications for swappable batteries.

“The founding members of the Consortium believe that the availability of commonly developed swappable battery systems is key to the development of low-voltage electromobility”, Piaggio said. The group of four also welcomed all the interested stakeholders to join the cooperation to enrich the Consortium’s expertise and extend standards to as many companies as possible. Companies interested to join the SBMC can contact one of the founding members for the rest of the information.

The members of the founding consortium put forward the following statements:

Michele Colaninno, Chief of strategy and product of Piaggio Group: “Urban mobility is going through a delicate moment of transition towards electrification. Thanks to our Consortium, representing four major global players, motorbikes will continue to play a key role in the urban context. Swappable batteries give the right answer to speed up the recharging time of vehicles offering an additional valuable choice for users. Urban mobility is part of the Piaggio DNA and history: our aim is to bring all our technological know-how and attitude for innovation to the Consortium.”

Yoshishige Nomura, Chief Officer, Motorcycle Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.: “Honda believes that the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles can play an important part in realising a more sustainable society. For that purpose, we need to solve several challenges such as extending the range, shortening the charging time and lowering the vehicle and infrastructure costs to enhance convenience for customers. 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. Our final goal is to ensure that motorcycles will continue to be chosen as a useful method of transportation in future mobility.”

Stefan Pierer, CEO PIERER Mobility AG: “The signing of this Consortium agreement is a key step in ensuring that PIERER Mobility AG, can continue to move forward, deliver innovation at pace, and advance its clear strategic vision for electric-powered two-wheelers. Together with our partners, we will work to deliver a swappable battery system for low-voltage vehicles (48V) up to 11kW capacity, based on international technical standards. We very much look forward to ensuring that powered two-wheeler vehicles maintain their role in the future of both urban and non-urban mobility.”

Takuya Kinoshita, Senior Executive Officer, Chief General Manager of Land Mobility Business Operations, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.: “The Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium in Europe is finally ready to get to work. I hope that this first step forward will be a beacon that draws like-minded parties to our mission and leads to transformative changes for the future. We at Yamaha Motor are confident that through this initiative, we can help unify the differing technical specs and standards and contribute to maximizing the merits of electric power for customers around the world.”

This is going to be a big step forward for the EV revolution as the swappable battery consortium will persuade the car companies to cooperate and improve market penetration for battery electric vehicles particularly two-wheelers.