Honda to introduce ‘Mobile Power Pack e:’ swappable battery service for electric auto rickshaws in India

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. the Japanese automajor has announced its plans to cater to the rising EV demand in the commercial vehicles segment. Honda will begin a  battery sharing service for electric auto rickshaws in India in the first half of 2022, and will use the Honda Mobile Power Pack e: (“MPP e:”), Honda’s all-new portable and swappable batteries. 

There are more than 8 million units of auto rickshaws in India, and they have been an essential means of daily transportation for people. In urban areas, these rickshaws are powered mainly by CNG (compressed natural gas) and have been a key challenge for electrification. Honda said it will establish a local subsidiary in India to conduct a battery sharing service business. The subsidiary will install a number of Honda Mobile Power Pack Exchanger e battery swapping stations and conduct battery sharing service in the cities.

Honda will work with electric rickshaw manufacturers and begin the service in selected cities first and then expand to other areas in stages. “Honda Mobile Power Pack (MPP) has huge potential to electrify all kinds of devices including small-sized mobility products and expand the use of renewable energy. By offering a battery sharing service in India, Honda will contribute to the accelerated electrification of rickshaws and expanded use of renewable energy,” Honda Motor Co Ltd Chief Officer (Life Creation Operations) Minoru Kato said in a statement.

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MPP e is a portable and swappable lithium-ion battery capable of storing a large amount of electricity, more than 1.3kWh, which is an increase from the previous version of the MPP. The 10.3 kg battery with around 50.26 voltage can be charged in about five hours. Honda noted that the new vertical tries to address rising air pollution in India and helps in utilisation of renewable energy and to actively pursue electrification of the transportation sector, which accounts for approximately 20 per cent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Electrified mobility products currently available in the market are facing three issues: short range, long charging time and high cost of batteries. In order to contribute to India’s effort to accelerate electrification and expand the use of renewable energy, the company would work to eliminate these three issues through the use of swappable batteries and by sharing such batteries.

With inputs from PTI

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Sagar Biswas

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