The dawn of electric two-wheeled mobility is very exciting for a number of reasons. Being able to rely less on fossil fuels, and more on cleaner, more sustainable alternatives is not only good for the environment, it’s also beneficial to our health and overall wellbeing. While not yet prevalent in the Philippines, the adoption of electric motorcycles and scooters is becoming more ubiquitous in more developed countries, with governments mounting incentives to those who make the green shift.
Manufacturers, too, are coming into the party at full-swing with new electric motorcycles and scooters rolling out left and right. In fact, it may surprise you that Austrian motorcycle giant KTM, is taking their electric motorcycle program very seriously. A few weeks ago, the company, along with a number of other OEMs, joined forces to form a consortium on swappable batteries for electric vehicles. This time around, KTM has announced a partnership with German battery specialist Varta. Now, you may be familiar with Varta thanks to their affordable batteries for household appliances such as clocks, TV remotes, and flashlights. While boasting decades of experience in low-power and industrial battery applications, this is Varta’s first time to venture into electric vehicles (EVs).
Although the batteries for use in EVs are extremely specialized, the concept remains fairly similar to that of household lithium-ion batteries. As such, Varta is jumping into the EV game full force alongside KTM. The two companies plan to co-develop a platform battery in the 48-volt range, paired to an electric motor with a 20kW power output. This translates to around 26 horsepower—similar specs to a number of electric two-wheelers in KTM’s pipeline. Does this mean that an electric street motorcycle with the equivalent power output of the KTM 200 Duke could soon hit the road?
It’s nice to note that the partnership between KTM and Varta doesn’t stop at just battery and powertrain development. In order to ensure sustainability, the two companies are also designing the entire life-cycle process of their batteries. From the day they’re manufactured and installed on a motorcycle, to the day they’re disposed of, KTM and Varta are trying to ensure that as little as possible goes to waste, if at all. After all, the toxic substances and heavy metals found in batteries are among the last things we would want in our landfills.