Honda to work with Yamaha and KTM on swappable EV batteries

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Honda is to work with Yamaha, KTM and Piaggio to develop standardised, swappable batteries for light electric vehicles.

Announcing the ‘Swappable Batteries Consortium’, the firms say the availability of standardised swappable batteries will promote the widespread use of light EVs – such as electric motorcycles – and will also help make EVs more sustainable.

Members of the consortium will work together to extend battery ranges, reduce charging times and lower the costs of both EVs and their infrastructure. The firms will collaborate to define standardised technical specifications for battery systems that can be used in electric motorcycles, mopeds, tricycles and quadricycles. These targets will improve consumer confidence in electric vehicles, the companies say.

The consortium, which launches in May 2021, will also work with regulatory bodies in Europe and globally, seeking to create international technical standards for batteries.

Noriaki Abe, managing officer of motorcycle operations at Honda, said: “The worldwide electrification effort to reduce CO2 on a global scale is accelerating, especially in Europe. For the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles, problems such as travel distance and charging times need to be addressed, and swappable batteries are a promising solution.

“Considering customer convenience, standardisation of swappable batteries and wide adoption of battery systems is vital, which is why the four member manufacturers agreed to form the consortium.

“Honda views improving the customers’ usage environment as an area to explore co-operation with other manufacturers, while bringing better products and services to customers through competition. Honda will work hard on both fronts to be the ‘chosen’ manufacturer for customer mobility.”

Tristan Shale-Hester

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