In some past articles, we’ve been pretty excited about Gogoro. The Taiwan-based company offers an innovative battery swap system that’s ideal for electric scooters and motorcycles parked in places where a power plug might not be available. Instead of having to bring the whole vehicle to the charging station, you simply remove the batteries and either haul them up to your apartment or drop them off at a charging station as shown in this short video:
As you can see, it’s at least as fast as putting gas in a motorcycle, and is probably more convenient. Plus, the scooters have plenty of “get up and go” power.
So, it’s no surprise that other companies would try to get in on this kind of thing, but it did surprise me a little to see Honda go all-in on it.
Honda has announced that it is now selling the Honda Power Pack Exchanger e: battery swapping station in Japan. The first unit was delivered to Gachaco Inc., a joint venture battery sharing service. Last month, Gachaco began operation of the first mass-production model of the Honda Power Pack Exchanger e: in Japan.
To meet its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050, Honda is focusing on electrifying all its products and corporate activities. This move poses three challenges that need to be addressed: short range, long charging time, and high battery cost. By introducing swappable batteries and a sharing service, Honda says it is striving to contribute to the acceleration of electrification and expansion of the use of renewable energy.
The Honda Power Pack Exchanger e: is a battery station that can charge multiple units of the Honda Mobile Power Pack e: (MPP e:) at once. This makes it easy for users of electric motorcycles and other mobile products equipped with MPP e: to swap out batteries as needed, without having to wait for them to recharge.
Honda Power Pack Exchanger e: has been developed as a battery infrastructure which can achieve widespread use inside and outside of Japan. It features an exterior design that blends in well with the cityscape and adopts the Honda Power Pack Cloud system that centrally manages all information necessary for a battery sharing service operation in the cloud. Moreover, Honda pursued the convenience and user-friendliness for both battery sharing service businesses and the users of electrified mobility products.
In India, Honda’s local subsidiary has already started a battery sharing service for electric tricycle taxis (“rickshaws”), using the Honda Power Pack Exchanger e:.
With battery sharing, Honda can continue to support electrification, which creates less carbon emissions and supports the goals of a low-carbon society.
Why This Matters
Living in a wealthy western country often leads to thinking that things are the same around the world. But, micromobility and motorcycles are the norm and not the exception in many places. Worse, cheap two-stroke gasoline engines are terrible for the environment and health. Honda is a huge seller in those categories, so seeing them make electric mobility affordable and easier means they’re going to make a huge environmental impact in the right direction.
Featured image provided by Honda.
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