Japanese two-wheeler specialist Yamaha Motor has created a new European daughter, Enyring GmbH, headquartered in Berlin (Germany), to offer swappable batteries for ‘compact urban electric vehicles’ via subscription-based services.
With these vehicles ‘in the low-speed range,’ it means mainly e-bikes from ‘strategic partner companies’ using a compatible swappable battery. Enyring aims to start operations in 2025 in Germany and the Netherlands to expand further into Europe later.
Reusing as a storage battery
“This new initiative will work towards creating a sustainable, recycling-oriented society that reduces not only the economic and time burden on customers but also the impact on the environment,” the company says in a press release.
“These batteries can be easily swapped out at any of the swappable battery stations installed throughout a city at any time, eliminating the hassle of recharging and the cost of purchasing a new battery once one reaches the end of its lifecycle. Furthermore, used batteries that are no longer suitable for mobility use are reused as storage batteries, disassembled into cells, recycled, and reused as new batteries.”
One shared standard
Yamaha doesn’t specify yet how it sees this ‘battery swapping for e-bikes’ setting foot ashore in Europe. However, it would make sense if e-bike manufacturers would share a battery standard like we already see in Asia for electric scooters. Swappable battery stations need to be installed throughout cities so subscribers can easily stop and swap their batteries and then continue their itinerary.
Electric scooters with universal swappable batteries provided by a network of swapping stations are already a reality in Taiwan. Gogoro developed in its home market, Taiwan, and later also in China and India, an extended battery swapping system called ‘GoStations’ where you can swap your empty battery for a fully charged one in less than a minute.
E-scooter for Taiwan
Yamaha launched in 2022 in Taiwain the EMF electric scooter with a swappable battery from Gogoro. The scooter has a 7,6 kW mid-mounted liquid-cooled permanent magnet electric motor providing a top speed of 100 km/h and accelerating from 0 to 50 km/h in 3.5 seconds. It has a range of 110 km.
In Europe, Yamaha sells the electric NEO scooter, based on the gasoline-powered model of the same name. That one, trading for €3 699, is limited to 45 km per hour top speed and has a removable 50.4-volt, 19.2-amp-hour lithium-ion battery pack providing a relatively meager range of 37 kilometers. You can also have a dual-battery option for €3 999, offering a range of 68 km.
Range of e-bikes
But Yamaha also offers a range of genuine e-bikes, ranging from €3 299 to €4 899. But only one model has an easily accessible ‘external’ removable battery. These are the city bikes Booster Easy (25 km/h) and Booster speed-pedelec (45 km/h) with a Yamaha 630 WH battery. The entry-level city bike Crosscore RT (25 km/h) has a 500 Wh Multi Location-lithium-ion battery integrated into the frame, as does the Moro 07 mountain bike.
Since 2019, Japan’s big four motorcycle OEMs – Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha -have worked together on swappable electric vehicle batteries. In September 2021, Yamaha and Honda, the Italian Piaggio Group, and France-based battery system developer Foresee Power founded the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC).
Meanwhile, SBMC counts up to 32 member companies, including other known brands like Suzuki, Kawasaki, and KTM. Their goal is to work together on standard battery specifications to allow and enable the efficient introduction of swappable battery stations. But this is mainly aimed at electric motorbikes and other compact urban electric vehicles.
In Japan, the big four joined forces in April 2022 with Japanese petroleum company Eneos to create a consortium in a brand-new company called Gachaco to share standardized swappable batteries for electric motorbikes and develop appropriate infrastructure.