With manufacturers working on electric vehicles, an electric Honda motorbike seems to be a strong possibility, competing with the usual rivals, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. There’s something that the four manufacturers aren’t competing on, however, as they’ve released a short statement, co-signed by each company, that they’ll be working together in order to standardize replaceable battery tech for electric bikes.
Personal mobility is embracing renewability and sustainability, moving past fossil fuels. Several countries across the world, including some of the bigger European countries, have either announced, or are looking into banning the sales of new internal combustion-powered vehicles at some time within the next decade.
Currently, technology in electric bikes means that the current range per charge is lacking, even for the more expensive options, which would lead to any electric Honda motorbike costing far more in upkeep than its gasoline-powered cousins.
There’s also the matter of charging networks, the infrastructure needed to support electric transportation. Certain countries have the infrastructure to properly support electric vehicles, some don’t.
All of these factors mean that owning an electric motorcycle isn’t as convenient or practical as the petrol-engine vehicles that they’re going to replace.
One common suggestion that’s been floating around is the creation of charging points where people can just leave their drained battery for a freshly-charged one, which is faster than the standard fill-up for a conventional ending. The issue, however, regards the architecture for chargers and batteries; whether companies would use a single standard or would there be several incompatible variations.
The statement, however, makes it clear that Japan’s big four, its largest factories, are working on creating a standardized base for replaceable batteries and charging stations. Four of the biggest motorcycle manufacturers working in collaboration with each other is a major push for standardization.
Japanese press reports say that the deal between the four will be initially focused on small commuter electric models, about 125cc in power. This is also the first attempt to make a workgroup on the matter, outside that of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Finally, this announcement is a clear sign that the Japanese manufacturers intend to create their own, mass-produced electric two-wheelers.