More than 25 companies gathered at the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium “Stakeholders meeting” on November 9th in Milan.
The international motorcycle exhibition EICMA provided an excellent frame for it, with showcasing many new models of electric Powered Two Wheelers.
SBMC welcomed representatives of various European institutions.
Mr Thierry LEGRAND (Account Manager Mobility at the CEN-CENELEC) and Mr Cesar SANTOS GIL (Policy Officer for Circular Economy Unit at DG ENVI) took part in the meeting and contributed to the discussions.
Battery swapping across brands made possible
Light vehicles are especially suitable for compact and low-voltage batteries.
Nowadays, most scooters and motorcycles used for daily commuting are within the so-called 50cc and 125cc category and have a performance ranging to a maximum of 11 kW.
SBMC will emphasize a reference battery which will bear an energy mark up to 2 kWh, enabling a relative low weight per battery pack – below 12 kg and relative handling dimensions.
With a 48 Volt solution, these batteries are easy to handle and are classified as low-voltage equipment (voltage class A limits) in terms of European regulation. This makes it safe and user-friendly for riders to swap, store and recharge.
The objective of SBMC is ensuring that batteries can be exchanged among different brands and types. Thus, swapping stations will be one of the key focus areas of the initiative. To make it safe and convenient for users, electrical, mechanical and safety requirements are addressed too and will be in line with existing and upcoming European and International Regulations.
Standardization in progress
SBMC concentrates on items such as geometry, mechanical fixing, connectors, and is finalizing the identification of the last relevant items, as key parameters towards interoperability through standardization.
As next step, SBMC is carefully taking into consideration also the aspects related to the connectivity of the battery and its infrastructure, as well as cybersecurity.
In line with potential requirements, originating from upcoming EU Battery Regulations, and EU Radio Equipment Directive, battery and environmental performances, communication parameters and state machine architecture will be considered for feeding standardization work to guarantee interoperability, safety, security and data protection & cybersecurity.
SBMC has already formal liaisons with CEN’s and CENELEC’s TCs/JTCs.
A flying start
The Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC), founded in September 2021 by KTM, Honda, Piaggio and Yamaha, has quickly grown to 21 members (and counting).
Founded with the mission to accelerate the deployment of swappable battery systems by developing and promoting new common technical specifications towards global and open standardization, in its first six months, the consortium took essential steps at an incredible pace.
The aim is to ensure full interoperability of swapping batteries to facilitate their application and boost sustainable mobility.
This is what emerged during the SBMC Summit held in July 2022, with 40 of its representatives convened at the KTM Motohall in Mattighofen, Austria.
This event was the perfect occasion to reflect on the progress made over the consortium’s first semester of existence, and to set the scene for upcoming activities towards standardization.
The vision, strategy and operations of the consortium were established across its members, the committees and working groups. The consortium was equipped with the proper tools and instruments to fulfill its ambitions. The set of relevant technical specifications was agreed upon, and the SBMC’s work streams on prototyping and standardization were successfully kicked off.
Formal Liaison Member to the CEN-CENELEC
Strategic positions were also taken, among which are the acceptance of the SBMC as Formal Liaison Member to the CEN-CENELEC and membership in CEN-TC301 and CEN-CENELEC JTC-13.
* Three European Standardization Organizations have been officially recognized by the European Union and by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as being responsible for developing and defining voluntary standards at European level: CEN, CENELEC and ETSI.
The consortium’s constructive approach has enabled it to overcome the technical challenges of developing interconnected and compatible systems. The SBMC is on track to achieve its goals as planned, and can now count on the best available expertise in the world to do so.
The current members are: AVL, Ciklo, Fivebikes, Forsee Power, Hioki, Honda, Hyba, JAMA, Kawasaki, KTM, KYMCO, Niu, Piaggio, Polaris, Roki, Samsung, Sinbon, Sumitomo Electric, Suzuki, Swobbee, Vitesco, VeNetWork (Atex, Fantic, Motori Minarelli), Yamaha.
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Following the signing of the Letter of Intent on March 1, HONDA Motor Co., KTM F&E GmbH, Ltd., PIAGGIO Group (PIA.MI) and YAMAHA Motor Co., Ltd., have officially signed the agreement for the creation of the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC).
Committed to the promotion of the widespread use of light electric vehicles, such as mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles in the transport sector and to the more sustainable lifecycle management of batteries in the context of international climate policies, the founding members of the Consortium believe that the availability of a commonly developed swappable battery systems is key to the development of lowvoltage electromobility.
The underlying aim of the Consortium is to find solutions to the concerns customers may have regarding the future of electromobility, such as the range, the charging time and infrastructure, and costs.
This will be achieved in accordance with four primary goals:
By working closely with interested stakeholders and National, European and International standardization bodies, the founding members of the Consortium will be involved in the creation of international technical standards. Indeed, the availability of charging stations varies between countries and there is still limited information for end users. Therefore, with this Consortium, HONDA, KTM, PIAGGIO and YAMAHA aim at engaging the decision makers for the development and deployment of charging infrastructure to promote the increase of light electric vehicles.
The four founding members encourage all interested stakeholders to join the cooperation to enrich the Consortium’s expertise in order to ensure a large diffusion of standard swappable batteries in the future. Parties who are interested to join the SBMC can contact one of the founding members for further information.
Yoshishige Nomura, Chief Officer, Motorcycle Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.:
"Honda believes that the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles can play an important part in realising a more sustainable society. For that purpose, we need to solve several challenges such as extending the range, shortening the charging time and lowering the vehicle and infrastructure costs to enhance convenience for customers. In the Consortium we have created, the founding members from the motorcycle industry and other stakeholders will work together towards standardizing swappable batteries, their charging systems and surrounding infrastructure to create the environment for their use.
Our final goal is to ensure that motorcycles will continue to be chosen as a useful method of transportation in future mobility."
Stefan Pierer, CEO PIERER Mobility AG:
“The signing of this Consortium agreement is a key step in ensuring that PIERER Mobility AG, can continue to move forward, deliver innovation at pace, and advance its clear strategic vision for electric powered twowheelers.
Together with our partners, we will work to deliver a swappable battery system for lowvoltage vehicles (48V) up to 11kW capacity, based on international technical standards. We very much look forward to ensuring that powered two wheeler vehicles maintain their role in the future of both urban and nonurban mobility."
Michele Colaninno, Chief of strategy and product of Piaggio Group:
“Urban mobility is going through a delicate moment of transition towards electrification. Thanks to our Consortium, representing four major global players, motorbikes will continue to play a key role in the urban context. Swappable batteries give the right answer to speed up the recharging time of vehicles offering an additional valuable choice for users. Urban mobility is going through a delicate moment of transition towards electrification. Thanks to our Consortium, representing four major global players, motorbikes will continue to play a key role in the urban context. Swappable batteries give the right answer to speed up the recharging time of vehicles offering an additional valuable choice for users. Urban mobility is part of the Piaggio DNA and history: our aim is to bring all our technological knowhow and attitude for innovation to the Consortium.”
Takuya Kinoshita, Senior Executive Officer, Chief General Manager of Land Mobility Business Operations, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.:
“The Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium in Europe is finally ready to get to work. I hope that this first step forward will be a beacon that draws like-minded parties to our mission and leads to transformative changes for the future. We at Yamaha Motor are confident that through this initiative, we can help unify the differing technical specs and standards and contribute to maximizing the merits of electric power for customers around the world.”