Electric motorcycle technology has potentially taken a big step forward this week, with news that green technology startup company Swobbee has joined the Honda/Piaggio/KTM/Yamaha battery development consortium.
We first told you about this multi-manufacturer consortium back in 2021; the deal was signed last September. It followed an earlier all-Japanese consortium, with Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki all signing an agreement to cooperate on swappable battery technology. The global consortium is intended to focus on the same technology. When it was launched, here’s how the members explained it:
“… the founding members of the Consortium believe that the availability of a commonly developed swappable battery systems is key to the development of low–voltage 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:
1. Develop common technical specifications of the swappable battery systems
2. Confirm common usage of the battery systems
3. Make, and promote, the Consortium’s common specifications a standard within European and International standardization bodies
4. Expand the use of the Consortium’s common specification to global level …”
So, the members are working together to develop a cross-manufacturer standard, and that’s where Swobbee comes in. Based in Germany, Swobbee focuses on developing batteries for small electric vehicles, in formats that work for multiple manufacturers. Basically, Swobbee wants to replace the gasoline service station model. As per its website:
Charging and range problems? Swobbee solves them! Swobbee is the efficient solution for the professional operation of small electric vehicle fleets in the field of sharing, logistics and delivery as well as other electricity-based applications. Our Battery-as-a-Service and Charging-as-a-Service approach enables a simple, convenient and cost-optimized transition to electric mobility.
The site has many more details—see it here.
So. Swobbee could be the big piece of the puzzle that this consortium was missing. While all the motorcycle manufacturers involved have the capability to build vehicles, they’re all looking for the powertrain solutions that Swobbee is working on. It’s very likely that the consortium’s work will move forward more quickly now, which is a good thing—a battery bike future is almost here, whether we want it or not.