KAWASAKI’S FUTURE PLANS: The electric sportbike with a swappable ‘engine’
and 51 point to the moving part of the frame. The image to the right is the completed section sited in position with the battery component elements hinged out (Pic 7) of the bike and on to a stand that sits alongside the bike. This means that the bike will effectively park next to the stand and the battery compartment would be hinged out for replacement with a full-charged unit, seriously cutting down – or possibly even negating – the need for time spent waiting for the bike to be recharged at all. Like filling up a motorcycle now with petrol, this could lead to a series of alreadycharged battery stores in special ‘charging stations’ where a rider can just pull up and within a couple of minutes have a new, fully-charged power unit fitted into their bike.
Another image shows this but from the front perspective (Pic 8) and without any connecting leads in place. This image is used to show proportion of the battery engine unit in comparison to the overall motorcycle – what’s important to notice here is that with the motor out of the bike there is nothing engine or chassis-wise visible on the right hand of side of the motorcycle from the front.
What is also intriguing in the above drawing is element 91 which is an extension of the frame’s base which holds the batteries out of the bike. The extension is there to effectively catch and support the bike’s front wheel – like a moving chock block that is ready to catch the front wheel initially and once the new battery is in the bike and the rider is back on the bike it will slide back into the base to allow the bike to be ridden away – if the system is used outside and the bike needs to be in the right position for an automatic engine-battery-swap. What that could mean is that we’re looking at the fuel-pump-for-the future here, where you ride into the chock and leave the bike upright as a machine automatically swaps the battery unit for a fully charged one.