Battery swapping biz gets going; Honda, HPCL in partnership

Honda, HPCL enter into partnership for establishing battery swapping stations at retail outlets

The Union budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had triggered discussion on battery swapping and its benefits in a major level.  The battery swapping policy announced by the Finance Minister was expected to find many takers, and we have been seeing some action on that front.

Honda Power Pack Energy India, a new subsidiary formed for battery sharing service by Honda Motor Co Ltd, has now inked a memorandum of understanding with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) in this regard. The MoU and commercial agreement aim at to collaborating in the field of e-mobility and to offer battery sharing services in HPCL’s retail outlets in major cities across India. The new move also marks the global debut of Honda’s battery sharing service and HPCL has been chosen as preferred partner.

Battery swapping biz sees uptick

Even before the policy announcement in this regard had come about, that is in October 2021, Honda Motor Co Ltd of Japan had announced its plan to offer battery sharing service in India. The plan was to kick start the business in the electric 3-wheeler segment through its newly established subsidiary, Honda Power Pack Energy India.

With the new subsidiary on stream and the MoU signed with HPCL, Honda’s battery sharing service will now look to enable e-rickshaw drivers to go to the nearest battery swapping stations being setup across the selected cities and swap discharged batteries with fully charged ones.

e-rickshaws to be targeted initially

The e-rickshaw drivers will find it easier and also reduce initial cost to purchase EV as well as reducing concern about running out of batteries. This will also reduce the risk of drivers losing business opportunities while waiting for batteries to be charged, a Honda statement has said.

As a beginning, Honda will start its Battery as a Service (BaaS) business on commercial basis from Bengaluru in the first half of 2022. Further to this, a strong network of battery swap stations at strategic locations like HPCL’s retail outlets will also come up. Expansion to other cities beyond Bengaluru will be effected in a phased manner.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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