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

Derryn Wong
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.

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.


battery electric motorcycle plug-in

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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