Honda, KTM, Piaggio and Yamaha to agree on swappable-battery tech

Honda CB 1000 R

Move could make for wider adoption of electric motorcycles/mobility devices that don’t need a privately-owned charger

Major motorcycle manufacturers Honda, KTM, Piaggio, and Yamaha announced today a move to lay the groundwork for creating a swappable battery standard.

The four companies – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. , KTM AG, Piaggio & C SpA and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. – signed a letter of intent to create a Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and Light Electric Vehicles, which will begin its work in May 2021.

The companies say the consortium’s purpose is to define a standardised tech spec for batteries with regards to the L-category; mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles.

Wondering about how an electric car will work in Singapore? Read our Dummies’ guide first!

There are major ramifications for this move, the foremost of which is that we could eventually see a common, swappable battery type for motorcycles made by these companies. That would mean that owners of a electric motorcycles would not need a private or dedicated charge station, they could simply swap a battery with low juice for a fresh one, or charge the battery at home at night.

Charge your motorcycle at home? Swappable batteries could make that possible

The last point is particularly relevant to prospective e-motorcycle owners in Singapore, though fire concerns are still very relevant.

That’s significant because the four companies are all major manufacturers of motorcycles, both small and large capacity. KTM is also part owned by Bajaj, which itself is the world’s third-biggest bike maker. Between them, the four companies encompass more than 10 individual brands.

Honda – Honda
KTM – KTM, Husqvarna
Piaggio – Aprilia, Derbi, Gilera, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Scarabeo, Vespa

The swappable battery concept is already used in scooter-crazy Taiwan, where most of the electric bikes use the Gogoro system.

CarBuyer has heard from industry observers that privately-owned swappable-battery motorcycles are yet to be allowed here, although motorcycle ride-sharing firm Omni – using Gogoro batteries – was reported by CNA as beginning trials this year.

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong