For a long time, many have suggested developing a standard battery that could be quickly and easily swapped so electric vehicles would be able to deal with the persistent issue of range and recharge time and now, four manufacturers, Honda KTM, Piaggio and Yamaha, announced their signing of a letter of intent to do just that. The focus is on what’s called the L-category; mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles.
This also addresses the issue of the life-cycle of the batteries themselves, making disposal and recycling a better managed process.
Companies respond to realities
There are many of you who are not interested in a transition to electric vehicles, internal combustion is what you prefer and what you’ll choose every time, but there is an undeniable shift in what the manufacturers are building and it’s not simply customer demand driving it, there is also political pressure to make the move and corporations look at politics as part of the business environment to which they have to respond. Piaggio even makes specific reference to this:
…the signatories show their proactiveness vis-à-vis the major concerns of their customers and the political priorities as regards the electrification of vehicles.
Whatever the underlying motivation, this could be a good thing for electric motorcycles and e-bicycles, making them far more practical for riders in more situations. Planning a long weekend ride on back roads or across wide open sections of the country? I think I’ll stick to gasoline for that, but change is on the way.
From the press release:
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 a 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.