On July 27, 2022, Berlin-based startup Swobbee officially joined the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium. That’s the group formed by Honda, KTM, Piaggio, and Yamaha to develop compatible equipment and infrastructure to support widespread electrification across the industry.
Who is Swobbee, and what is the company’s specialty? It bills itself as offering “Battery-as-a-Service,” and you can probably see where this is going. Its role in this project is, in fact, to develop a shared-use battery that all participating manufacturers can use in all their vehicles.
Swobbee evolved from another company called GreenPack, which also produced a battery design that was both standardized and portable, for use in multiple EVs and other small electric equipment. Now Swobbee is getting to work doing the same thing for two-wheelers that are part of this consortium.
"We are convinced that we can make a valuable contribution to the development of a multi-vehicle compatible, high-performance rechargeable battery with our many years of practical experience in the battery exchange infrastructure field and the system configuration of battery technologies,” Swobbee co-founder and head of marketing Tobias Breyer said in a statement.
As the consortium grows, it’s moves like this that can hopefully entice other vehicle manufacturers to join the charge. Knowing that a standardized battery and charging infrastructure system that can be shared across manufacturers is currently under development could theoretically be a game-changer. Will it be, though? That, of course, remains to be seen.
"As soon as the development process is concluded and the new battery system is put into production, Swobbee will offer a compatible exchange infrastructure," added Swobbee CEO and co-founder Thomas Duscha.
Although Swobbee is a smaller company than the founders of this consortium, it’s startups that really have an opportunity to shine when new technologies are emerging. Part of what makes the movement toward alternative energies so interesting is observing the interplay of new ideas and players as they come to the surface.
"Thanks to recent investments in Swobbee, we are positioned for the ongoing expansion of our exchange station network in Germany and Europe over the coming years,” said Swobbee CFO Ludwig Speidel.
“Swobbee will be the leading swapping station for small electric vehicles. Businesses and vehicle users will then benefit from highly convenient, efficient and sustainable Battery-as-a-Service and Charging-as-a-Service solutions near them,” he concluded.