The field of swappable batteries for electric motorbikes is booming, and Honda is trying to play catch up with its own design. The Honda Mobile Power Pack e: (MPPe:) is headed to Indonesia as the company makes a play for greater international market share.
The Honda MPPe: is a Gogoro-style swappable motorbike battery that even comes with its own Gogoro-style battery cabinet known as the Honda Power Pack Exchanger e: (HPPEe:).
Honda has been dragging its feet on electric vehicles for years, not just in cars but also in its motorcycle division.
The swappable battery system developed by Honda has been around for several years but hasn’t gotten much use outside of a few local Japanese trials until recently. After developing a swappable battery consortium along with Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki, it appears Honda is attempting to position its own battery as a competing standard.
We’ve seen the company attempt to push that battery into Europe in the Honda EM1 electric scooter, and now Honda is setting its sights on Indonesia.
Indonesia has a large population numbering 275 million, with most Indonesian households using a motorbike to commute.
Electric vehicles are still a tiny percentage of that market, but more options are helping Indonesians boost those EV numbers. Now Honda wants to get some skin in that game as it brings its EM1 electric motorbike to Indonesia.
Honda appears to be offering its EM1 for sale in Indonesia either with or without the batteries, presumably meaning that the sans battery package would rely on battery swapping subscriptions.
Without a battery, the EM1 is priced at around US $2,600, while the package with batteries included is price at closer to US $2,930.
Honda’s battery swapping cabinets appear to work similarly to Gogoro’s, except that they don’t automatically recognize the user and scooter simply by reading information stored in the batteries. Instead, users will need to swipe a membership card in order to activate the station and swap batteries.
It’s great to see Honda finally taking electric motorbikes more seriously, though I’m not sure how many “standards” for swappable batteries are necessary.
I get that entrusting a single company with managing and profiting from a battery standard has its downsides, but so does having 10 different types of swappable batteries out there. Honda is obviously in its very early stages, and seems to just be copying Gogoro by entering each country that Gogoro establishes itself in. If Gogoro is coming up on half a billion battery swaps under its belt with nearly half a million battery swaps per day, then it seems like they’ve pretty much got this figured out while other companies are still testing the waters.
A number of companies even build their scooters to fit Gogoro’s batteries (including Yamaha, one of the companies that joined Honda’s battery consortium), so it feels like the industry is already starting to choose a winner here.
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