In Japan, OEMs come together with energy company to provide common battery swapping network for electric 2Ws

ENEOS Holdings, Honda Motor, Kawasaki Motors, Suzuki Motor Corporation and Yamaha Motor have collectively have established a new company named Gachaco, Inc. (“Gachaco”) to provide sharing service of standardised swappable batteries for electric motorcycles in Japan. The company will develop the necessary ‘Battery as a Service or BaaS’ platform infrastructure to provide the swapping service to the electric 2W users of the participating companies. Energy Company Eneos holds 51% of the equity in the newly formed company, followed by Honda (34%).

Honda, Kawasaki Motors, Suzuki and Yamaha Motor have agreed to a common specification for a swappable electric motorcycle battery and are studying the establishment of sharing environments to spread the use of electric motorcycles as mobility.

Gachaco plans to launch the sharing service in the autumn of 2022 (Sep to Nov), commencing in Tokyo and other major Japanese cities, with Honda Mobile Power Pack, which meets the common specifications for electric motorcycles. Battery Exchange stations, Honda Mobile Power Pack Exchanger will be located at convenient places —such as railway stations—and at ENEOS service stations.

Overview of Gachaco

An official statement said – ENEOS aims to contribute to the realization of a recycling-oriented society by building a BaaS Platform for electric mobility and other battery recycling systems. Through BaaS, ENEOS will provide solutions for issues in widely spreading electric mobility, such as “the hassle of long-time charging” and “concerns about running out of battery charge when going out,” from the perspective of an energy supplier.

Gachaco will also promote the use of standardised swappable batteries for various uses in the future, such as storage batteries installed at commercial facilities and private homes, in addition to electric motorcycles. Additionally, used batteries generated by Gachaco’s sharing service will be gathered via the ENEOS-developed battery-as-a-service (BaaS) infrastructure for secondary and tertiary use, as well as recycling for cyclical battery consumption.

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