Auto Tech

Honda, Panasonic team up for swappable electric motorbike batteries

The program will establish battery-swap points in Indonesia.

Honda Charging Station concept model

Honda's Charging Station concept model for swappable batteries.

Honda

Honda and Panasonic on Friday announced plans for a new battery partnership focusing on creating and distributing packs that enable convenient swapping. The agreement isn't for automobiles, however -- it's for electric motorcycles and other battery-powered mobility devices. 

The deal, which is being classified as a "research experiment" by the two conglomerates, will take place in Indonesia. The venue is appropriate: Indonesia is not only the third-largest motorcycle market on the globe, but is wracked by pollution issues as a result.

The program's rollout, which kicks off this December, will include establishing charging stations at "several dozen locations." The stations (a concept version of which is shown above) will be capable of charging a number of Mobile Power Pack batteries concurrently. The idea is that users of Honda products like electric motorcycles and scooters will be able to stop at the most convenient station when their battery is depleted and simply swap it out for a full pack.

Honda's Mobile Power Pack battery will be at the heart of this joint venture.

Honda

At least in its initial stages, the program will be rolled out in Bandung in Indonesia's West Java province, as well as Denpasar and Kuta in Bali.

The partnership will focus on battery sharing using Honda's Mobile Power Pack product, and involves the creation of a joint-venture company, Pt. HPP Energy Indonesia. 

This isn't the only battery-focused joint venture that Honda and Panasonic have joined in recent months. In May, the two firms teamed up with other companies including Toyota and Nissan to develop solid-state batteries. The Consortium for Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Center, or Libtec for short, is hoping to develop electric car batteries with a range of 500 miles by 2030.