Kymco brought its latest and greatest new scooters to EICMA 2021. While combustion models revealed were mainly updates to existing scoots that the OEM already sells in Europe, it also took the time to formally introduce the Ionex electric scooter ecosystem to the continent for the first time. The announcement was made as part of Kymco’s press conference detailing its new models on the EICMA 2021 show floor, and took up just a few minutes toward the end of the presentation.
For those unfamiliar, Ionex is Kymco’s swappable battery electric system, with which it currently powers a range of electric scooters in Taiwan. Fleet vehicles, such as delivery scooters, are an especially prime target for the Kymco Ionex system, although regular consumers may also find them useful depending on their needs.
Back in April, 2021, Kymco announced that Ionex would become a standalone brand in Taiwan, to help differentiate this new electric offshoot of the company from the legacy Kymco brand. At the time, however, Kymco CEO Allen Ko said that Ionex would remain identified as a Kymco brand in other markets outside Taiwan. Fast-forward to November, 2021, and we’re starting to see the newest Kymco Ionex market take shape.
What kinds of Kymco Ionex electric scooters does the OEM plan to sell in Europe? According to the slide at its EICMA 2021 presentation, future models include the I-One X, the I-One, the Agility Carry EV, the Super 7, the Super 9, and the Super 6. Both the Agility Carry and Super-numeraries are electrified variations on existing Kymco combustion-powered scooter models.
Pricing and availability information hasn’t been announced at this point, but that information should surely come in the not-too-distant future. It’s also probably too early to speculate on whether or not Kymco will launch something like the Ionex Recharge system in European markets, which it previously launched in Taiwan in August 2021. That system provides “on-demand battery delivery and battery swapping services for electric scooters and motorcycles,” at a time and place designated by customers via an app, and is clearly designed to alleviate the range anxiety and perceived inconvenience of EV ownership.
In Taiwan, Kymco’s biggest competitor in the swappable battery EV network space is Gogoro, which announced expansion plans in India, China, and Southeast Asia over the course of 2021. This could be why Kymco chose to bring Ionex to Europe this year, to try to establish an early lead in the market. There’s no telling what conversations happen behind closed doors, but it certainly seems reasonable. Only time will tell how riders and the market adapt to the system, and Kymco Ionex charging station infrastructure rollout will, of course, be a big part of the overall story to come.