Remember Silence? If you don't, that's OK; there are a lot of electric scooter companies in the world.

Not all of them offer swappable batteries, though. Even fewer have a unique rollaway system to help owners cart their batteries off to the charging station with no need for muscle strain due to their unexpected heft. Because of that unique design, I feel like chances are good that you might remember Silence's scooters if you've seen them. 

The Spanish company teamed up with automaker Seat back in 2019, which marked the first time that the micro-mobility firm would collaborate with an automaker. It wouldn't be the last, though. To cap the end of April 2024, Nissan officially announced its own new partnership with Silence; or rather, the firm's parent company, Acciona.

The deal will see Nissan distributing a brand new Silence electric vehicle that isn't a two-wheeler at all. It's called the S04 Nanocar, and at first glance, it bears at least a passing resemblance to a Smart ForTwo. The Silence S04 Nanocar is all electric, though, and will be able to take advantage of swappable battery stations that will be set up in the markets where it's sold.

Gallery: Nissan partners with Silence

The Silence S04 Nanocar

The newest member of the Silence family will come in two flavors: L6e and L7e. 

The L6e is operable without a driver's license, according to Acciona. Its top speed is 45 kilometers per hour, or just under 28 miles per hour. It utilizes a single six kilowatt battery for operation.

The L7e offers both a little more range and a little more power, and does require a driver's license to use. The estimated range given by Silence is about 149 kilometers (around 92 miles) using its two batteries that offer a combined 14 kilowatts. Top speed, says Acciona, is about 85 km/h (or just under 53 mph). 

Silence Electric Scooter And Nanocar European Distribution

The S04 will join the other Silence electric scooters in the firm's lineup, which will now be distributed in Nissan dealerships in select markets in Europe.

Beginning in June 2024, Nissan and Silence will offer Silence electric scooters and nanocars in dealerships in France and Italy. From September 2024, they will also become available in Germany. 

In Spain, Silence already says that it has over 110 locations where its battery swap stations are available. The current plan is to see that number rise to at least 160 locations by the end of 2024.

Vehicles like these seem like they could work well in built-up urban environments where life is lived in a more compact amount of space. Add in a place with too much sprawl and the practicality seems like it would be more difficult, but congested cities seem ideal for solutions like these.

Rather uniquely, Silence also offers owners the option to participate in their battery-as-a-service subscription plan.

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While I'm not generally a big fan of [blank]-as-a-service schemes, EVs with batteries you don't own, and which are maintained by the company subscription you sign up for, actually makes a lot of sense.

Here's why.

Battery technology advances quickly. Most of us who live in 2024 already know that batteries, from the AAAs in your TV remote to the much bigger ones that might power an electric car can and do wear out. They lose their ability to charge over time, and can eventually and potentially leave you with nothing but a rather expensive paperweight or doorstop.

With a battery subscription service, that's not a problem you own. And with a battery swapping subscription service, battery health can more easily be monitored by the company you're subscribing through, so that older batteries can be cycled out of the system and then recycled into their component parts. The batteries can also be taken out of circulation and replaced with fresh batteries as soon as they've reached a certain, predetermined point of charging ability.

This also helps make the cost of ownership less expensive for potential buyers, thus decreasing headaches and increasing accessibility for potential EV owners. If your concern is getting more people to get on board with EVs, structures like this are solid ways to do it.

We're looking forward to seeing how the Nissan and Silence partnership progresses. 

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