On October 25, 2022, Honda officially introduced its new swappable battery charging and exchange station system. It’s called Honda Power Pack Exchanger e:, and is designed for use with Honda Mobile Power Packs, which the company already introduced in 2021. The first such HPPEe: will be utilized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, as it aims to promote the spread of electric motorcycles in the city.
The HPPEe: has also been delivered to Gachaco, the new battery swapping company that Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki united to form back in March, 2022. The new charging hub units for Honda Mobile Power Pack e: battery packs will also be put to use in India, where the packs will power electric three-wheeled rickshaw taxis. A local Honda subsidiary called Honda Power Pack Energy India Pvt. Ltd. will facilitate usage in this market.
On the customer side, the process appears to be relatively simple. Users will have a chip card that they use to contactlessly communicate with the HPPEe: station. They’ll then be able to plug their spent battery into an open slot, as well as remove a fully-charged battery from a different slot.
Gallery: Honda Power Pack Exchanger e:
Each battery slot has an angled design to it, to help facilitate both ease and speed of insertion and removal for users. Additionally, Honda says that spent batteries inserted into its stations will automatically begin charging—no need for the user to do anything other than plug in the spent battery.
On the operator side, Honda says that management of all important functions will be handled by the Honda Power Pack Cloud. This system will regulate important things like battery charging status, battery location, user registration, and payment. Additionally, the HPPEe: stations integrate battery cooling functions, to help avoid the damage to battery cells that can be caused by excessive heat.
If an operator finds that their location is very popular, and they need greater Honda Mobile Power Pack e: availability for their customers, there’s good news. Honda has made its Power Pack Exchanger e: stations chainable, so more than one unit can be connected up together to function as one mega-station. Think of them sort of like LEGOs, where they can be plugged into one another to create a greater structure as needed.
So far, the official Honda website for the Power Pack Exchanger e: station only lists power connections configured to meet Japanese and Indian specifications. While it seems likely that Honda will roll stations like this out in other markets, the company hasn’t announced those plans as of October 2022. At this time, we don’t know when (or if) such a rollout will happen—but we’ll be sure to keep you updated as and when we have further information.
Sources: Honda, Tokyo Metropolitan Government