Consortium of Japanese Firms Creating Replaceable Electric Motorcycle Batteries

April 10, 2019 by Scott McMahan

Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Kawasaki Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., Suzuki Motor Corporation, and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announced the establishment of the exchangeable battery consortium for electric motorcycles (the consortium) aimed at increasing the adoption of electric motorcycles in Japan. (See Yamaha 2017 electric motorcycle concept above called MOTOROID)

The transportation industry considers the spread of electric motorcycles as a more environmentally friendly and convenient option for mobility.To make electric motorcycles attractive to consumers, the consortium intends to improve their performance compared to currently available models. Specifically the consortium wants to extend the cruising distance (range), the reduce the charging time, and reduce the cost of vehicles and infrastructure.

While others are using various strategies to improve these performance metrics, the consortium is studying the standardization of replaceable batteries and their battery replacement systems for common use. Through the standardization of replacement batteries and battery systems the consortium wants to create economies of scale.

The consortium plans to conduct various investigations throughout the motorcycle industry and to contribute to the achievement of a low carbon society via the spread of electric motorcycles, said Noriaki Abe, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Managing Executive Officer General Manager of Motorcycle Business Division.

The spread of electric motorcycles requires solutions to problems including the cruising distance and charging time, and replaceable batteries are an effective solution, according to Noriaki Abe.

In hopes of improving customer convenience, the consortium intends to standardize replaceable batteries and replacement systems beginning with joint studies of four domestically-produced motorcycles, Noriaki Abe pointed out.

By using this idea, many expect that the usage environment of the electric motorcycle will be enhanced, and the convenience for customers will also improve, Noriaki Abe asserted.