On the eve of the Tokyo Motorcycle Show 2018, KYMCO unveiled on March 22 electric motorcycle Ionex, along with its charging/battery-swap system.
Battery pack underneath foot board
KYMCO notes that the new product represents a solution, addressing existing problems associated with electric motorcycles, including bulky size of battery or, in the case of retrievable battery, complicated retrieving procedure, heavy weight, and dull appearance.
Ionex boasts a battery pack, which can be retrieved for battery swap simply by pressing a button beside the handlebar. The battery pack is placed beneath the foot board, in order to lower the center of gravity of the motorcycle, thereby enlarging the storage compartment beneath the seat. KYMCO, though, has not explained how perfect is the water-proof mechanism of the retrievable battery pack.
The storage compartment underneath the seat can accommodate three spare batteries, less than five kilos in weight each. The battery pack can be closed automatically, by touching its bottom against the induction spot on the foot board, thanks to the induction function of NFC chip.
Electric-motorcycle ecological system
In addition to at-home charging, Ionex motorcycle can get recharged at open-style charging service network and energy-swap stations. Fast one-hour charging service by staffers is available at charging stations, where there are also public sockets for use by motorcyclists to charge their batteries with own carry-on chargers themselves. Moreover, charged spare batteries are also available for lease, to meet the need of long-haul motorcyclists.
Most importantly, KYMCO will roll out energy swap stations, which, with an appearance resembling an automated vending machine, are supportive of battery charging and swap, on top of serving as a private energy network. It's an open-end platform, enabling swap of different brands of batteries, and can be installed at various public sites, such as MRT stations, parking lots, and scenic spots, as well as commercial/residential buildings.
The rollout of Ionex is compatible with the government's target having all new motorcycle models be electric ones from 2035. Consequently, major motorcycle manufacturers have stepped up pace developing electric models, along with related technologies in battery and battery charging and swap.
Apparently in rivalry with Gogoro, Ionex embraces the dual mode of battery charging and swap at its stations, different from Gogoro mode which dedicates to battery charging. KYMCO has set an ambitious goal moving 500,000 electric motorcycles within three years, a far cry from Gogoro which has sold only over 40,000 electric motorcycles since debut of the first model in 2015.
KYMCO has yet to unveil specifics of its entire electric-motorcycle program, including price tag, charging rates, and installation of energy swap stations.
(Collaborative media: TechNews, first photo courtesy of KYMCO).