Honda’s powerpack station now on sale to take on Gogoro

Honda has delivered a new battery change station in Tokyo that is very similar to the one that Gogoro makes. With the automaker’s new power pack changer, electric motorcyclists can easily exchange their low batteries for new ones instead of having to wait for a charge.

The Honda powerplant itself is very similar to Gogoro’s: like a vending machine with a grid of battery packs sliding in and out of slots.

Three vending-style modules make up this extended version of the Honda power pack changer, it has three square pack slots across and four down per unit, supporting 12 per unit and this large version supporting 36.  The machine is colored white and gray with a touch screen on the main exchange and all packages are blue.

Honda’s “Power Pack Exchanger e:” station can be expanded to accommodate a lot of batteries in busy parts of cities. Image: Honda

You can access fully charged batteries by interacting with the touchscreen, pulling one out and inserting your depleted batteries to recharge for use by the next rider. Honda’s system is verified through IC cards that are distributed to customers who sign up. The stations are also expandable to accommodate corridors with higher usage in cities.

The very first “Honda Power Pack Exchanger e:” drive has now been delivered to Gachaco Inc., a joint venture with Japanese oil and energy company Eneos, as well as motorcycle manufacturers Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki. Based in Tokyo, Gachaco receives support from the city government as it has a goal of de-gassing all new motorcycles by 2035.

The standardized recyclable battery specification agreed upon by all manufacturers is Honda’s Mobile Power Pack e: (MPP e:), which has a capacity of 1,314 Wh and takes approximately five hours to fully charge. Eneos contributed the Battery as a Service (BaaS) platform on which it is built, with the idea of ​​using these racks to store energy during peak production times and to return electricity to the grid when demand peaks.

A single charged sale can also power the power pack’s changer station if the power goes out, keeping commuters from getting stuck. And if the rack looks a little plain, it’s apparently on purpose, with a view to creating an “unobtrusive cabinet design” that fades into the background of public areas.

An IC card can be used by commuters to access the batteries.

An IC card can be used by commuters to access the batteries. Image: Honda

Gogoro has been promoting this idea for years; now Honda and this range of mobility giants are taking it upon themselves. “One of the things that was pretty clear to us was the growing need these megacities would have for energy – better energy use and distribution,” Gogoro CEO Horace Luke told The Verge in 2015. Since then, the company has more than 2,300 employees. installations installed. battery change stations, according to recent CNBC reporting.

Honda is also following Gogoro to India, where the automaker set up a subsidiary to help push electric bicycles and rickshaws. Last year, Honda said it invested $45 billion in R&D to make rockets, robots and electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs).

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