Piaggio, KTM, Honda and Yamaha set up swappable batteries consortium

MILAN, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Italian scooter maker Piaggio (PIA.MI) said on Monday it had set up a consortium with Honda Motor Co. (7267.T), KTM AG and Yamaha Motor Co. (7272.T) to encourage the use of swappable batteries for electric motorcycles and light electric vehicles.

The Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) aims to broaden the use of light electric vehicles, such as scooters, mopeds and motorcycles, and support a more sustainable management of their batteries, a joint statement said.

It will focus on issues such as battery life, recharging times, infrastructure and costs and will work on defining international standard technical specifications for swappable batteries.

The companies in the consortium said they welcomed others joining them to extend standards to as many companies as possible.

Honda’s Motorcycle Operations Chief Officer Yoshishige Nomura said the consortium’s objectives aimed to make electric motorbikes more convenient for clients, as their “use on large scale can substantially contribute to the creation of a more sustainable society”.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Edmund Blair