Industry & Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) News provides updates on motorcycle industry, market, legislation, rights of bikers, motorcyclists in USA, and motorcycle news from around the world.
The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).
MILAN (Reuters) – Italian scooter maker Piaggio said on Monday it had set up a consortium with Honda Motor Co., KTM AG and Yamaha Motor Co. to encourage the use of swappable batteries for electric motorcycles and light electric vehicles.
The Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) aims to broaden the use of light electric vehicles, such as scooters, mopeds and motorcycles, and support a more sustainable management of their batteries, a joint statement said.
It will focus on issues such as battery life, recharging times, infrastructure and costs and will work on defining international standard technical specifications for swappable batteries.
The companies in the consortium said they welcomed others joining them to extend standards to as many companies as possible.
“Urban mobility is going through a delicate transition moment towards electrification. Thanks to this consortium, motorbikes will keep their key role,” Piaggio Chief of Strategy and Product Michele Colaninno said.
Honda’s Motorcycle Operations Chief Officer Yoshishige Nomura said the consortium’s objectives aimed to make electric motorbikes more convenient for clients, as their “use on large scale can substantially contribute to the creation of a more sustainable society”.
Piaggio Group owns iconic two-wheeler brands such as Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, among others.
It’s good to know that electric two-wheelers are registering greater acceptability among users. However, sales of new electric scooters alone may take a long time to achieve the goal of 100% electric ecosystem. One also needs to focus on millions of fossil-fuel powered two-wheelers that continue to pollute the environment. The need of the hour is dedicated conversion kits that can be produced on a mass scale, are affordable and can be easily fitted in existing two-wheelers.
Saietta electric motor for Continental GT
UK-based Saietta Group specializes in developing electric drive systems for electric vehicles (EVs). It has come up with an electric motor that can be fitted directly onto Royal Enfield Continental GT. A number of tests are currently underway to assess overall performance and viability of converted Continental GT.
The company has plans to mass-produce the motors, once everything has been fine-tuned and perfected. These motors will also be distributed to Indian OEMs through Padmini VNA. The latter is a leading manufacturer of advanced auto components.
It is to note that Royal Enfield is in the process of developing its own range of electric motorcycles. These will continue to use the retro theme that can be seen on existing Royal Enfield motorcycles. However, it’s not certain when exactly these motorcycles will be launched. It’s also not certain if Royal Enfield will be able to dominate the electric segment, just as it does in 350cc to 650cc segment. It will be interesting to see how the king of thump performs in a green, silent world.
Hero Xtreme electric motor
Targeting the commuter segment, Saietta has converted a Hero Xtreme with an electric motor. This too has been equipped with a swappable battery system. As compared to charging an electric two-wheeler, a swapping ecosystem offers multiple benefits.
Batteries can be swapped within seconds whereas charging can take several minutes even with fast charger. Another benefit is that customers don’t have to invest in buying the battery. They just need to pay for using the battery, which works out much cheaper.
From a design perspective, it is obvious that converted Continental GT and Hero Xtreme will need some sort of a body kit. In their current form, the motorcycles come across as a work-in-progress unit.
Existing users of these motorcycles are unlikely to make the switch to electric until the visual shortcomings are take care of. Even though the motor is an innovative work and pioneering move by Saietta, one cannot completely ignore aesthetics associated with a motorcycle.