The new urban mobility advances and takes another step towards an increasingly present reality that is 100% sustainable electric mobility. The trickle of initiatives lengthens the shadow of the transformation that cities are experiencing on their way to decarbonization. One of the latest impulses is the alliance between Acciona and Cepsa for the development of a network of battery exchangers in their service stations for the fleet of vehicles of the Silence brand.
The pilot test came into operation last September in one of the stations in Barcelona, and the manufacturer highlights the good reception of the service. "The experience has been spectacular", describes Pepe Martí, Silence's 'Battery Stations' project manager, who assures that "users are already getting used to the correct use of their motorcycles' removable batteries".
Currently, the manufacturer, which was acquired by Acciona in 2021, has nearly 650 users in Spain of its electric motorcycles with the subscription model for battery use, and already in the first months of operation of the pilot on the street Comte d'Urgell, 219, Barcelona, the rate -they confirm- is 40 exchanges on average per day. “This first experience is giving us the dimension of the ideal ratio in each of the future stations”, confesses Martí.
The plan contemplates the initial impulse of ten interchanges in Cepsa stations: five in Barcelona and five in Madrid. The objective is to add points “distributed in different Spanish cities”. To do this, the members of the alliance are working "intensively" -they assert- to accelerate the opening rate of the following interchange spaces, and have "four or five in the first quarter of 2023". The idea is to bring these points closer to all users, and "have a battery exchange station less than 10 minutes away in both capitals," explains the CEO of Silence, Carlos Sotelo.
The operation of the brand's electric motorcycles and their removable battery change process is simple, although the company urges users to carry out the first operation at their headquarters "to help resolve doubts," they say, "because the second time, already at the gas station, it is managed with total ease”. Under this usage subscription system, the user leaves the discharged unit at an exchange station and gets the new one with a 100% charge to continue with the journey. The process lasts, according to Silence, one minute, "which makes it the fastest recharging system on the market."
This subscription model allows, on the one hand, the purchase of the motorcycle without a battery, with the consequent reduction in the price of the vehicle by 40% -they figure- and, on the other, the contracting of the monthly subscription. The user has an application that detects the low level of charge, reports the nearest exchanger and reserves a battery. “Everyone is clear that the transition is here; All that remains is to define times, promote infrastructure improvements and increase incentives to speed it up”, says Martí.