Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki had previously announced the intention of working together to standardize battery technology to create a one size fits all scenario for future electric motorcycles. The four companies have now cemented that commitment by creating a new company “Gechaco” to provide the actual “battery as service” infrastructure for motorcycle battery swapping. The fifth member of the group is ENEOS – a Japanese energy company with traditional service stations across Japan.
The first battery available for swapping will be the Honda Mobile Power Pack which will be available at battery exchange locations at ENEOS service stations, railway stations and others starting in the fall of 2022. The aim is to address both range and charging anxieties among electric motorcycle adopters and to promote the recycling of said batteries at the end of their product cycle.
Why the Honda battery first? It is the breakdown of equity of the new company. ENEOS owns 51% equity, Honda owns 34% while Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki are all contributing 5%. All the company’s have some development underway for electric transportation with Yamaha already cooperating on other projects. Honda has been keeping their plans somewhat under wraps so it will be interesting to see if their big slice of the pie signifies an upcoming influx of electric mobility products from the company.
Interesting the ENEOS will use the batteries for other purposes once use in electric vehicles is no longer an option. The batteries in electric cars, motorcycles and scooter are capable of holding a substantial charge after they are long longer efficient in vehicles and can be used for stationary energy storage and use before being sent to the recycle station.
Gechaco seems to be following the motorcycle battery swapping gameplan created successful by Gogoro in Taiwan for electric scooters and is, as we have said, the most promising system for electric motorcycle or scooter adoption.