Honda launches battery change station for electric motorcycles in Japan

Honda’s new battery charging and exchange station, the Honda Power Pack Exchanger e: (HPPEe:), was unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 25, RideApart reported. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will use the first HPPEe: to promote the use of electric motorcycles in the city.

The station is compatible with the Mobile Power Pack e: (MPPe:), a removable battery that powers electric scooters or motorcycles. It has a variety of battery compartments so people can swap out their dead batteries with fully charged MPPe: batteries.

The battery exchange company Gachaco, co-founded by Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki, has now received the stations.

As a group, these four Japanese motorcycle manufacturers are often referred to as the “Big Four”. They led the creation of a consortium to provide a standardized method of battery replacement for all types of motorcycles.

Also read: Sony partners with Honda to produce EVs for US delivery

How does it work

The procedure seems simple enough from the consumer’s perspective. Users can connect wirelessly to the HPPEe:station with their chip card. They can then swap their dead battery for a new one by inserting it into an available slot and pulling a charged battery out of another.

The slots for the batteries are angled so that the user can insert and remove them quickly and easily.

Honda stated through RideApart that charging starts automatically when a used battery is plugged in. The HPPEe: stations also have built-in battery cooling functions to prevent overheating.

Honda has a global expansion target for the HPPEe:

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is reportedly planning to establish Japan’s first HPPEe: station in Tokyo, according to Electrek.

Honda is expanding its presence in India and will soon introduce a new electric moped, so additional charging stations have also been installed there in preparation.

There are currently electric rickshaws in India that use Honda’s MPPe batteries and use the exchange stations. These rickshaws are very popular in the larger cities of India.

Honda has big ambitions, but it’s unclear exactly where they plan to roll out the battery change facilities. They called the system a battery infrastructure that can be widely used both in Japan and internationally.

Honda isn’t the first to roll out battery change stations

The concept of HPPEe: is similar to the concept used in the popular Gogoro network in Japan.

Battery replacement company Gogoro unveiled its GoStations in Taiwan in 2015, and now there are hundreds scattered across the country.

Gogoro’s broad network in Taiwan enables more than 350,000 battery changes every day, totaling more than 350 million since the company began doing business.

The stations are built to keep running even during widespread power outages. They can even feed the energy they have stored in their batteries back into the grid to power institutions such as hospitals, which are essential to the community.

Gogoro’s battery swap network was initially only available in Taiwan, but the company has now expanded into Asia and into its first western market, Israel, where users can purchase electric scooters and sign up for the service.

Related article: The US military conducts a live fire simulation using electric motorcycles

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Written by Trisha Kae Andrada

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