To address consumer concerns about electric vehicle (EV) usage concerns in Japan, a collaboration between the four Japanese motorcycle makers, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki, and petroleum and energy company Eneos will commence operations April 1. The company, called Gachaco, will provide standardised swappable batteries for electric two-wheelers as a sharing service and develop related infrastructure.

This follows the Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and Light Electric Vehicles formed by Honda, Yamaha, KTM and Piaggio in Europe to formulate a battery standard applicable to two-wheeled transport. Eneos will be building a BaaS (Battery as a Service) platform to address the main issues with TVs, namely charging time and range anxiety.

The common specification for a swappable electric motorcycle battery is seen as one of the hurdles to the widespread adoption of small EVs. With the use of Honda Mobile Power Pack e: as the battery standard, battery exchange stations will be built at central areas where evs congregate such as train stations and Eneos service stations, beginning in Tokyo before spreading to other cities in Japan.

Besides EVs, Gachaco will also promote the use of swappable batteries for other applications, such as storage batteries installed at commercial facilities and private homes. Expended batteries that have reached the end of service life for EVs will be collected and reviewed by Eneos for re-use in secondary and tertiary duty before being recycled.

Gachaco seems to follow a similar EV battery swapping model established by Gogoro in Taiwan. Gogoro’s battery swapping platform has over 10,000 battery swapping GoStations at over 2,300 locations, with 450,000 riders performing 340,000 daily battery swaps.