Honda Motor Co on Friday said it plans to begin a battery sharing service for electric three-wheelers in India in the first half of 2022.
The Japanese auto major aims to utilise 'Honda Mobile Power Pack e' (MPP e), its all-new portable and swappable batteries for the purpose.
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.
Moreover, Honda will continue serving people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life's potential by further expanding the utilization of the MPP into broader areas, he added.
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.
There are more than 80 lakh 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.
As per a Honda study, 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.
To this end, Honda will start a battery sharing service for electric rickshaws, using MPP e: in the first half of 2022.
Honda said that for the new business, it began demonstration testing in India in February 2021, with 30 units of electric rickshaw taxis driven for a total of more than 2,00,000 km in operation.Through this testing, the company identified issues to be addressed and verified business viability.