Italian scooter maker Piaggio has joined forces with a Japanese consortium of major bike manufacturers set up to encourage the use of swappable batteries for electric motorcycles and light electric vehicles.

The newly enlarged and rebranded Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) aims to broaden the use of light electric vehicles, such as scooters, mopeds and motorcycles, and support a more sustainable management of their batteries, a joint statement said.

It will focus on issues such as battery life, recharging times, infrastructure and costs and will work on defining international standard technical specifications for swappable batteries.

The companies in the consortium said they welcomed others joining them to extend standards to as many companies as possible.

“Urban mobility is going through a delicate transition moment towards electrification. Thanks to this consortium motorbikes will keep their key role,” Piaggio Chief of Strategy and Product Michele Colaninno said.

Honda’s Motorcycle Operations Chief Officer Yoshishige Nomura added the consortium’s objectives are to make electric motorbikes more convenient for clients, as their “use on large scale can substantially contribute to the creation of a more sustainable society”.