With India transitioning to electric vehicles to cut down on emissions and reduce pollution, electric tricycle taxis—or ‘rickshaws’—have emerged as an essential means of transportation in highly urbanized parts of the country.
In order to contribute to India’s electrification efforts, Honda is rolling out its Mobile Power Pack e: (MPP e:) swappable batteries and battery-sharing services in the first half of 2022. The carmaker tested these in the country earlier this year using a total of 30 rickshaw units that were driven for a combined 200,000km.
Through battery sharing, rickshaw drivers can simply stop at a battery swapping station and switch their low-battery MPP e: with a fully charged one. Through this, drivers will no longer need to wait for batteries to be charged and as such will not lose any business opportunities because of the downtime. This also reduces the concerns of running out of charge while on the road.
“Honda 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,” said Honda Motor Company chief officer of life creation operations Minoru Kato. “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.”
Honda will establish a subsidiary in India that will install battery-swapping stations and provide battery-sharing services. The carmaker will also work with rickshaw manufacturers to roll out the services in select cities first, and eventually to other areas.
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