Kymco plans to expand their worldwide electric operations by delivering the first universal swappable battery standard ever, a move other manufacturers could benefit from, too
Taiwanese manufacturer Kymco sets out on a mission that could indeed change a big chunk of the motorcycle industry. Their iONEX project is the first attempt to create a universal replaceable battery standard that could spread out and become accessible to pretty much any maker and customer around the world.
Despite the fact that most of the 500,000+ units Kymco sells each year are gas-powered scooters, the Taiwanese maker has big plans in the electric segment. They plan to release no less than 10 new electric models within the next three years, complementing the current two (Many EV and Nice EV), and take their iONEX project to more than 20 countries. The estimated sales figures should reach half a million electric vehicles, also.
Now, Kymco’s idea is not exactly new, as another Taiwanese company, Gogoro, has been providing a swappable battery service since three years ago already. Even more, they also teamed up with Coup to extend the service in Germany’s capital Berlin. Gogoro’s figures indicate that more than 60,000 riders swapped around 10 million batteries since the inception of the service.
Kymco already announced that they are also willing to provide other manufacturers with full support, helping them design and develop their new models around Kymco’s batteries. These new generations of electric commuters would join the upcoming fleet of Kymco Ionix scooters and their owners will be able to use the iONEX charging stations regardless of the vehicle brand.
If Kymco can convince other makers to jump in this standardized battery pack bandwagon, we can foresee that the snowball effect could make this a huge success. Swapping batteries is much greener than actually owning battery packs, while the renting costs are also low, somewhere an estimated $10 per month.
Seeing the electric mobility industry heading for universal standards is indeed heartening, but whether they will be implemented on a wider scale anytime soon is still anyone’s guess. We can only hope that reason trumps egos.
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