The Future Is Electric – And Together?Armani Moffatt
Interesting news has landed, that haters of anything which needs plugging rather than filling will no doubt roll their eyes at…
Yamaha Motor Co. recently announced that they had signed a letter of intent with other manufacturers such as Piaggio, Honda and KTM, in regards to potentially standardising the batteries of future motorcycle. The exact term used is ‘swappable’ and that opens up all sorts of possibilities going forwards.
Yamaha big wig, Takuya Kinoshita, used that exact term in the release:
“I believe the creation of this Consortium holds great significance not just for Europe but the world as we move towards establishing standards for swappable batteries for light electric vehicles. I’m confident that through work like this, the technical specs and standards, that currently differ by regional characteristics or the state of the industry in different markets will be unified, and, in the future, will help lead towards maximizing the merits of electric power for customers on a global level.”
Now then, there are of course some brands missing off this list and though it could grow, there will always be those wishing to pursue their own path. The truth is, we still await proper news from the major big guns as to what exactly their electric futures will be, aside from the odd concept model. Think about it, there’s been very little in terms of actual production possibilities from them, hasn’t there? Only Harley Davidson has really gone for it thus far by actually creating something people can buy, something from a big brand that is.
Time will tell what the rest do, but back to the potential of swappable batteries, and this could be a way to help soothe the biggest bugbear of electric vehicles – their limited range. What this bunch are signing up to explore, we imagine, would essentially be battery stations at forecourts and other such locations. Locations where a battery, if running low, can be quickly and easily swapped, one out, one in, leaving you to go on your way. Handy!
Obviously there’s a mountain of, well, everything to work out for this kind of idea to be plausible, from infrastructure to billing, to the design of the bikes being uniform enough in the right areas that one power unit from a Yamaha will fit in a Honda, and a KTM, and so forth. It also needs to be easy and as pain free as possible for the end user. And in this digital age, most likely each battery will speak to each station, to each bike it’s fitted to, ad infinitum. It should also know who’s bike it’s slotted into, too, leaving a long and detailed chain of information which can only serve to improve la vie electric over the years.
Pie in the sky? Possibly, so much to work out, so many things to consider and so on, before we even get to red tape and everything else that gets in the way of progress. But for the moment it’s an interesting thought experiment that could lead in many directions, one of which could indeed be our future on two wheels.
#StaySafe, #StayAlert, #StayPositive and keep washing those hands (yes, it’s still important!).