Kymco Ionex electric scooter and battery system

Taiwanese firm unveils removable battery pack technology for new range of bikes

Kymco Ionex scooter launch

We were sort of expecting a new scooter here in Tokyo, but Kymco has actually unveiled a full eco-system of battery technology instead. The Ionex system is based around removable rechargeable batteries, weighing about 5kg each, which slot into a special holder in a new range of electric scooters.

The advantages are obvious enough – you can remove the battery, bring it into your house, and charge it up overnight, removing the need for a garage or charging point on the street. But Kymco’s also planning a whole new infrastructure too, with battery charging points located in shops and workplaces, as well as a battery swap system. So, you can swap your flat battery for a pre-charged one at a Kymco agent, giving near-instant power top-ups.

The Ionex system scooter Kymco showed off, dubbed the ManyEV, has space under the floorboards for two batteries, and also has a non-removable ‘core’ battery under the bodywork. So even if you take both Ionex batteries out to charge, you still have some power left in the scoot for short trips. In addition, the large underseat storage space can carry three more battery packs, giving a total range of around 200km.

Kymco has big plans for the Ionex setup. It’s aiming for no less than ten new bikes using the new battery system over the next three years, with charging networks in 20 countries and half a million total vehicles produced. The biggest job though will be the infrastructure, and here the firm is hoping to involve local and national governments.

It all seems a bit of a way off at the moment though. The presentation was short on firm details about spec or price on the Ionex scooters. There’s no word on when we might see them on the streets in the UK either. Watch this space for more…