During its EICMA 2023 press conference, established Taiwanese motorbike manufacturer Kymco showed off the multiple facets of its Ionex EV Solution to the world. The program consists of three things, meant to address the needs of both stakeholder businesses and future riders.
For riders and network operators, there will be Ionex Energy Stations, which will allow quick, simple battery swapping for vehicles on the Ionex platform.
On the energy company side of the equation, the plan is to offer those Ionex batteries in a "Battery-as-a-Service" format. If the phrase "[blank]-as-a-service" makes you roll your eyes a little in 2023, one potentially positive outcome of this kind of setup is less worry for owners of Ionex-powered vehicles about battery health.
Under a system like this, Kymco says, the batteries aren't part of the ownership equation for vehicle buyers. This, in turn, could lead to lower costs to purchase your next electric motorbike. As older batteries start to lose their ability to fully charge, network operators can then recycle them and continue supplying customers with new, fresh, healthy batteries.
Finally, Kymco's Battery Metering Unit is intended to simplify adoption of the Ionex system to multiple motorbike designs by multiple manufacturers.
While Kymco is currently best known for manufacturing scooters and motorcycles, its Ionex proposition is an entire ecosystem. Ionex Battery Metering Units would exist on any motorbike that makes use of the Ionex platform, allowing all interested manufacturers to integrate the Ionex Common Battery into their design.
On the manufacturer side, Kymco says, one of the biggest obstacles to making electric motorbikes is sorting out the battery. A common Ionex platform, says the company, is a solution to that problem. For riders, potential benefits include fewer worries about range anxiety, battery health, and up-front vehicle cost.
4 Questions About Ionex With Kymco Chairman Allen Ko
Following Kymco's Ionex presentation, RideApart had a few additional questions that Kymco chairman Allen Ko was kind enough to answer for us. Here are those questions and his responses.
Does this phase of Ionex have anything to do with Kymco's involvement with the Swappable Battery Motorcycle Consortium?
LiveWire and Kymco have an agreement to eventually cooperate on smaller electric motorbikes under the LiveWire name. Does this mean that those bikes will be using Ionex technology?
Yes. Kymco’s Ionex technology is expected to be the driving force behind the potential cooperation between LiveWire and Kymco for smaller electric motorbikes.
Kymco announced the introduction of the Ionex ecosystem in Europe, but what are its plans for rollout in other geographic regions?
Kymco plans to step-by-step roll out the Ionex ecosystem in every part of the world. We have received strong interest from potential partners in countries outside Europe and Southeast Asia.
Are there any future plans to use the Ionex system to power other things, like the Ionex stations flowing power back into neighborhoods in the event of an emergency, or the Ionex batteries/software being used for other small vehicles or equipment?
Kymco is currently exploring the feasibility of using the Ionex system in various areas. For example, Kymco has shown at the Smart City Summit & Expo in 2022 an Ionex Smart Streetlight which combines solar power generator and Ionex battery swapping cabinet to power the streetlights at night.