Here in early November 2023, it might seem like it’s been a while since we last heard from the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC). For those unfamiliar, the SBMC was formed back in 2021 by Honda, KTM, Piaggio Group, and Yamaha to formulate standards for battery swapping on electric motorbikes. With the rise in electrification of all kinds of vehicles, including two-wheelers, the timing seemed ideal. 

After the initial announcement of the SBMC’s formation and statement of purpose, we occasionally heard updates, such as the addition of new members to the cause. Mostly, though, things have seemed pretty quiet since early 2021—but that doesn’t mean that the SBMC hasn’t been busy. 

On the contrary, 2022 was filled with both adding new members and hashing out technical specifications amongst the membership. Additionally, the SBMC developed its very first swappable battery prototypes, which were created by two hand-picked suppliers. The prototypes were developed as part of the specification validation and refinement process. 

While the first round of prototypes was helpful for the initial stages of specification testing, a second phase of prototyping is planned by the SBMC for 2024. That’s when the new prototypes for field trial testing will be made. The actual trials will then be conducted by the SBMC “in partnership with battery manufacturers, swapping station providers, and OEMs.”  

In addition to this activity, the SBMC has also been working behind the scenes, participating in discussions with both European and international standardization bodies about matters related to swappable battery development for motorcycles. This includes the increasingly important topics of cybersecurity and data protection. 

SBMC Members in 2023 

As of November 3, 2023, the SBMC counts 32 member companies among its ranks. This includes the four core members: Honda, Piaggio Group, Yamaha, and Forsee Power. It also includes the following regular members: Ampace, CFMoto, Dell’Orto, Greenway, Hyba, Infineon, ITRI, Kawasaki, Keeway, KTM, Kymco, LG Energy Solution, Mitsuba, NIU, Polaris, Quantum Volts, Samsung SDI, Segway-Ninebot, Sinbon, Smobery, Sumitomo Electric, Suzuki, Swobbee, Triumph, VeNetWork SpA, Vitesco Technologies, Voltaira, and Yamaichi Electronics. 

SBMC at EICMA 2023 

The SBMC plans to attend EICMA 2023, where it plans to meet with those who are interested in learning more about the organization, its progress so far, and its future goals. Delegates from the SBMC participated in a technical specification discussion in Tokyo, Japan in early October 2023, and will hold another meeting in April 2024 in Turin, Italy. 

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