Although Kawasaki hasn’t released an electric prototype to the public yet, Team Green has been busily working on all sorts of EV tech behind the scenes. NDTV has dug up patent images show an important step in that process: an electric Kawi with swappable battery.
The machine in the patent drawings is a full-sized motorcycle, and the battery looks like it would be fairly heavy. This is interesting, because the recently-announced consortium of Japanese manufacturers is working on removable, swappable batteries, but they’re intended to work on commuter-style machines.
The bike here appears to be intended for more sporty, all-round riding, which would require more battery capacity to facilitate higher speeds or longer distances. In turn, that means a bigger battery, which means it’s going to be more expensive, and more difficult to lug around for charging. By the looks of the patent drawing, a user would need a dolly to move the battery around.
That would make this machine potentially unappealing for urban commuters, who’d quickly tire of hauling a heavy battery around every day. The smaller batteries required for 50 cc-equivalent stepthroughs, as already seen in the Honda PCX Electric, would work well in this scenario, which is why the Big Four are working on that plan.
However, if you’re at an event like a track day, this oversized battery pack wouldn’t be such a big deal, leaving us to wonder once again: is the future of performance motorcycling going to be restricted to the track?