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Old 8th September 2021, 15:06   #1
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Default Piaggio, KTM, Honda & Yamaha form swappable batteries consortium

Piaggio - the Italian two-wheeler brand, is said to have set up a new consortium with Honda Motors, KTM AG and Yamaha Motors.

Dubbed the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC), the project aims to encourage/boost the use of swappable battery technology and set up common technical specifications for the same. The consortium also aims to promote the increased use of light electric vehicles such as mopeds, motorbikes, scooters, tricycles and quadricycles.

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According to a statement released, the consortium will also work on finding solutions to customer concerns regarding light electric vehicles. This includes range, charging time, infrastructure and costs.

Further, the four founding members of the consortium will also engage with various decision-makers, to help create an international set of technical standards for swappable battery systems and light electric vehicles.

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Old 9th September 2021, 00:53   #2
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Default Re: Piaggio, KTM, Honda & Yamaha form swappable batteries consortium

Awesome! Man, this could be an absolute game-changer and startup-killer in the two-wheeler EV space, depending on how quickly this consortium can go to market with viable products. I know I’d be all over an electric vehicle from any of these brands if they came with swappable batteries. And with the scale of these orgs it could become a whole standard across more brands too. This could be fantastic for potential fence-sitting, range-wary EV customers like yours truly. Fingers crossed. And watch out Ola, Ather and their international ilk.
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Old 9th September 2021, 08:25   #3
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Default Re: Piaggio, KTM, Honda & Yamaha form swappable batteries consortium

This is definitely a good way of future-proofing their products. Multiple companies providing compatible batteries have serious advantages for the customers.

Any idea if this is India-specific or will be applied internationally first?

For India, with Honda in the consortium, it covers 80% of the scooter market AFAIK. This will be a good push for electric scooters in the long run.
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Old 9th September 2021, 10:28   #4
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Default Re: Piaggio, KTM, Honda & Yamaha form swappable batteries consortium

Exciting times ahead. This is something that many people have spoken about. The primary hurdle for EVs is the down time (charging time) that brings down the utilization - something that's already low for cars. The race towards lowering the down time (charging time) of EVs has been along the fast charger and batteries with better energy density. Pravaig seems to be focusing on the business model to improve utilization - leasing, targeting fleet operators etc.
Swappable batteries seem the logical choice and closest in terms of experience compared to ICE cars. You own the car and the batteries are owned and charged by the consortium. But it is beset with technical difficulties - reliability (and consequently efficiency degradation) of connection points, water proof nature of the mount harnesses etc. and the IP wall behind which battery technologies are hidden from small time players. This is a good move and let's see if they can address the technical difficulties fast.
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Old 9th September 2021, 10:37   #5
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Default Re: Piaggio, KTM, Honda & Yamaha form swappable batteries consortium

This is the best news I have read on the EV Market.

The next consortium needs to be between power companies and OEMs for uniform charger, sockets and other equipment. Current landscape is like, each manufacturer having to build their dedicated petrol pumps like the Tesla supercharger network, which is highly unscalable and unsustainable.

Also, I think the ideal model will be like the mobile phones.
  • Charging speed depends on the charger and not the socket. So each car can carry its fast charger rather than requiring to depend on charging stations.
  • There should be space in the vehicle for a fast charger, like we currently do for Stepneys.
  • This way charging stations will be reduced to High Ampere plugs which can be used across companies, across cars.
  • The owner can choose what charger to use, fast charger or trickle charger.
  • Option for wireless charging to be made available in case people dont wanna carry around a charger.
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Old 9th September 2021, 11:24   #6
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Default Re: Piaggio, KTM, Honda & Yamaha form swappable batteries consortium

This can be a game changer and if more join the alliance then EVs will become mainstream faster. In an ideal world, people should be able to go to a charging station and swap batteries and move out in about the same time as filling up fuel today.
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Old 11th September 2021, 10:20   #7
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Default Re: Piaggio, KTM, Honda & Yamaha form swappable batteries consortium

While this sounds exciting, I doubt they are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. I think they are tying to create a standard so as to ensure vendor lock-in. Need new batteries? You can only buy from us. And it is going to cost a bomb.

Even worse case scenario: They follow the printer-ink business model and sell the vehicle cheap with low capacity batteries and force you to buy expensive ones if you want to upgrade or when the original battery fails.
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Old 11th September 2021, 14:30   #8
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Default Re: Piaggio, KTM, Honda & Yamaha form swappable batteries consortium

Step in the right direction clearly.

I hope more manufacturers can join in the bandwagon and help achieve common standards, protocols and also move towards homogenous (brand agnostic) charging infrastructure.
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Old 12th September 2021, 01:20   #9
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Default Re: Piaggio, KTM, Honda & Yamaha form swappable batteries consortium

Me and one of my car enthusiast friend were discussing this one day. Swappable batteries might be the solution of the range problem. Imagine you are swapping your discharged battery for the fully charged one at battery swap station which exists like present days Fuel ROs. You don't need to buy the battery rather you need to subscribe for the battery service for a specific period of time and for a certain one time payment. For that time, battery company will provide charged batteries and you just need to pay for the charge every time. It's just a thought, but who knows, it might work someday.
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Old 12th September 2021, 10:29   #10
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Default Re: Piaggio, KTM, Honda & Yamaha form swappable batteries consortium

Taiwan’s Gogoro already has this problem solved and is already at 400,000 battery swaps a month. Hero motors tied up with Gogoro to establish a battery swap network in India. May be everyone should agree on a single standard.
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