Charge up, roll out.
The shift to electric bikes and scooters grows more important every day. As the major global OEM that it is, Honda has been working hard for several years to get all the pieces in place for its electric lines. Time marches on, and we’re starting to see more and more of those puzzle pieces slot into place.
From quietly launching more business-oriented EVs in Japan first, like the Benly e: and Gyro e, to announcing epic EV team-ups with first Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki and later KTM, Yamaha (again), and Piaggio, Honda’s commitment to two- and three-wheeled electrification is obvious. After all, getting other OEMs to commit to a single shared swappable battery standard is a potentially game-changing deal.
However, multiple pain points regarding electric bike adoption among the masses of riders around the world require multiple solutions. Honda introduced its Mobile Power Pack back at CES 2018, along its conceptualization of the street-corner charging stations it saw powering this shift. At the time, few details were given, and we were left only to contemplate those design concepts.
Now, in a new Benly e: video, Honda gives a little more insight into its electric powertrain and Honda Mobile Power Pack integration. Interestingly, it also gives a good look at the special Mobile Power Pack charging stations Honda is developing for consumers to use at home, work, school, and pretty much anywhere else.
The Honda Mobile Power Packs are rectangular, with handles up at the top so you can easily maneuver them into place. Gravity helps you guide them into their slots on the Benly e:, and presumably will do so on the other electric vehicles Honda will use these in, as well. Clamping down the handle on top—think of the safety bar that goes across your lap on a roller coaster—also locks the pins in place at the base of the battery, allowing the vehicle to draw power from it.
Off the bike, the Mobile Power Pack charging unit looks very much like a plastic booster seat. The design currently depicted by Honda only fits one battery at a time, which you slide into place horizontally before clamping a bar down to activate those locking pins at the base. There’s a slight incline to the surface to draw the battery down onto the pins with gravity as you slide it in, as also happens under the seat of your Benly e: or Gyro e.
In any case, while the Benly e: and Gyro e are clearly niche models, seeing how the Honda Mobile Power Pack system works more closely seems like it’s probably a glimpse into a broader Honda electric two- and three-wheeled future.