Japanese motor company Yamaha is debuting a service that it hopes will change the way consumers interact with its electric bikes and scooters. The service lets users rent batteries on a subscription model, allowing them to swap out empty batteries for fresh ones in urban areas.
Launching first in Berlin under the umbrella of a subsidiary company called ENYRING, the service will begin with electric bikes, with plans to expand in the future. Yamaha/ENYRING’s plan is to also use the service to retire older batteries and turn them into storage batteries instead.
Battery swapping could help e-bike and e-scooter riders eliminate the time they have to spend charging their batteries while also eliminating the need to find a place to charge (a task that some buildings make difficult because of fears of e-bike batteries exploding or catching fire). It would also prevent e-bike owners from having to purchase expensive replacements when their batteries come to the end of their lifespans.
Several aspects of the service have yet to be revealed, including how much it will cost and which types of vehicles will be compatible with the batteries that ENYRING plans on using, including whether it might be compatible with other brands.
“I hope the US gets these battery swapping stations in major cities, would make the Kawasaki electrics actually seem worth it,” one Electrek commenter wrote, referring to Kawasaki’s electric motorcycles that have drawn mixed reactions for only having a range of about 40 miles, making them feel more like an e-bike or e-scooter for utility rather than something that would compete with a conventional motorcycle.
“For any major metropolitan areas especially the ones with dense service of delivery bikes this should be the norm ASAP, so one can assure charging will be safe and batteries are built to a better standard,” another wrote.
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