It was September of last year when motorcycle manufacturers KTM, Piaggio, Honda, and Yamaha formed a pact to establish a system where future electric motorcycles share a common platform for swappable batteries.
After a year, the 4-member Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) is now a big 21-member powerhouse, making practical use of electric motorcycles more feasible.
The goal is still the same: to create electric motorcycles with batteries, chargers, and electrical systems that are compatible or even interchangeable with each other, with everyone agreeing to use Honda’s battery pack system for their e-PCX scooter.
From 4 to 21, here is the list of companies that have joined the SBMC ranging from established electric scooter manufacturers to companies that specialize in power sports products: AVL, Ciklo, FIVE, Forsee Power, Hioki, Honda, Hyba, JAMA, Kawasaki, KTM, KYMCO, NIU, Piaggio, Polaris, Roki, Samsung, Sinbon, Sumitomo Electric, Suzuki, Swobbee, Vitesco, VeNetWork, and Yamaha.
Gogoro's battery swapping technology
What’s interesting is that there are companies that joined the SBMC that are already established in the field of battery-powered motorcycles. For example, KYMCO has been successful in its IONEX battery swapping system in Taiwan and select markets worldwide. NIU, on the other hand, is already considered one of the biggest electric scooter manufacturers in the world and is sold in 38 countries across Asia, Europe, and South America.
According to NIU’s CEO, Yan Li, the creation of a common standard for swappable batteries will be the key to sustainable mobility in the future. “We are dedicated to enhancing access to electric urban mobility through the creation of common standards for swappable batteries. We believe this technology is key to the adoption of sustainable 2-wheel city solutions by reducing charging times, extending vehicle range, and decreasing cost for end users,” said Li.
Will Filipino motorcycle riders switch to battery-powered two-wheels in the near future? We also had our fair share of experience riding an electric scooter with Minimotors’ Bluetran Lightning and it was refreshing not to spend almost PHP 300 daily for a scooter’s fuel needs.
Let’s just hope that swapping batteries and its system will be available soon here in the country, making commute with electric motorcycles practical and very affordable.