The Big Four Japanese Motorcycle Manufacturers Collaborate on Battery Technology

The major Japanese motorcycle manufacturers are placing a strong emphasis on electrification. In addition to working on their individual projects, all four companies have joined forces to establish a battery technology consortium in Japan. This collaboration resulted in the creation of Gachaco, an organization dedicated to streamlining battery technology for consumers. Gachaco has also partnered with Japanese petroleum company Eneos.

In late 2022, Gachaco began setting up battery swapping facilities in Japan, starting with two Honda locations in the country. Now, the organization aims to expedite its battery sharing program. Gachaco recently announced the launch of the "Gachaco Battery Sharing Experience Campaign" to enhance its battery swapping technology and make it as seamless and user-friendly as possible. The company plans to make the battery sharing service available to the public by 2024.

As part of the Gachaco Battery Sharing Experience Campaign, a total of 30 participants will be selected to utilize the latest Honda electric mopeds, the EM1 e: and Benly e:, throughout the campaign. The mopeds will be leased free of charge, but participants will be responsible for the services they use. The trial campaign will be limited to the Tokyo area, and participants must be able to pay with a credit card. At the end of the campaign, participants will receive a special gift card.

Gachaco offers its battery sharing platform at an affordable rate of just 300 Yen per month, equivalent to about $2 USD. However, users will also be charged a fee based on their specific usage. Gachaco has set this fee at 300 yen (approximately $2 USD) per kilowatt-hour, including the battery fee. The trial campaign is scheduled to begin in late October and conclude in November 2023.

Battery swapping has long been considered a viable solution for addressing range anxiety in electric vehicles. It can be done quickly, similar to refueling a traditional vehicle, and can be applied to a wide range of vehicles if the batteries meet certain standards. However, implementing battery swapping requires specialized technology and infrastructure, including secure storage and charging facilities to prevent tampering or theft.