Honda to launch 10 electric motorcycle models globally by 2025
The world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, Honda Motor Co., announced that it will accelerate the electrification of its motorcycle models, while also continuing to advance internal combustion engines (ICE).
Honda said it plans to introduce 10 or more electric motorcycle models globally by 2025. Within the next five years, the Japanese motorcycle maker aims to increase its annual sales of electric models to one million motorcycles within the next five years, and 3.5 million units, which is equivalent to 15% of its total unit sales, by 2030. Honda is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality for all of its motorcycle products during the 2040s.
By 2050, Honda aims to realize carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities Honda is involved in, the company announced at a press briefing regarding its motorcycle business initiatives led by Kohei Takeuchi, director, executive vice president and representative executive officer, and Yoshishige Nomura, managing officer.
In order to realize carbon neutrality while accommodating the wide range of customer needs and usage environments unique to motorcycles, Honda is continuing its initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions from ICE models, while also developing models compatible with carbon neutral fuels such as gasoline-ethanol blends. To be more specific, in addition to Brazil where flex-fuel (E100) motorcycle models are already available, Honda plans to introduce flex-fuel models in India, one of the world’s major motorcycle markets. The plan is to first introduce flex-fuel (E20) models beginning in 2023, and flex-fuel (E100) models in 2025.
Addressing various market segments of the motorcycle industry, Honda said to fulfil the increasing demand for business-use, it will accelerate the global launch of business-use electric motorcycles. In addition to providing a Honda e: Business Bike series model to Japan Post and Vietnam Post Corporation for mail delivery, Honda is currently conducting joint trials with Thailand Post Company Limited, and planning to begin production and sales of the Benly e: in Thailand before the end of this month. These Honda e: Business Bike series models are equipped with Honda Mobile Power Pack (MPP) swappable batteries, which are well-suited to business use such as the delivery of small packages and resolve issues of range and charging time, which are key challenges that need to be addressed to realize the widespread use of electric motorcycles.
For personal use, Honda plans to introduce two commuter EV models between 2024 and 2025 across Asia, Europe and Japan. Envisioning the future market environment, uses and technological advancements, Honda is exploring a range of future personal-use models including ones equipped with a power source besides swappable batteries.
Currently, EMs and EBs account for more than 90% of industry-wide global electric motorcycle unit sales (approximately 50 million units). In China, the world’s largest electric motorcycle market, EMs/EBs are widely adopted as a convenient form of everyday mobility, and Honda has been offering such products by leveraging its local supplier infrastructure and development/manufacturing operations. With the expectation that demand for EMs/EBs will be expanding globally, Honda plans to introduce a total of five compact and affordable EM and EB models between now and 2024 across Asia, Europe and Japan, in addition to China.
In addition to commuter EVs, Honda is actively developing electrified models in the “FUN” category. Based on its FUN EV platform currently under development, Honda plans to introduce a total of three large-size FUN EV models across Japan, the U.S. and Europe between 2024 and 2025. Honda will also introduce a Kids Fun EV model.
Honda will develop and apply electric motorcycle platforms that combine the three core components for electric vehicles – the battery, PCU and motor– with the motorcycle body. Regarding the battery, a core component of electric vehicles, Honda aims to equip its electric motorcycle models with an all-solid-state battery Honda is currently developing by making active use of its own resources.
Enhancement of charging infrastructure and standardization of battery specifications are vital for the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles. As part of the enhancement of charging infrastructure, Honda is working toward popularization of battery sharing.
Honda has established a joint venture in Indonesia, one of the major motorcycle markets, to operate a battery sharing service utilizing MPPs and MPP-powered motorcycles. The JV is currently operating a battery sharing service in Bali.
In India, Honda is planning to begin its battery sharing service for electric tricycle taxis (so-called “rickshaws”) by the end of this year. Honda is also planning to expand its initiatives to popularize battery sharing to other Asian nations.
In Japan, in April of this year, ENEOS Holdings, Inc. and the four major Japanese motorcycle manufacturers jointly incorporated Gachaco, Inc., which will provide a sharing service of standardized swappable batteries for electric motorcycles and develop infrastructure for this service. The company plans to begin its motorcycle battery sharing service this fall.
Standardization of batteries
In Japan, four major Japanese motorcycle manufacturers have agreed on common specifications for swappable batteries based on the JASO TP21003 guideline.
Honda is working toward the standardization of swappable batteries while participating in a battery consortium in Europe*8 and working with a partner company in India.
To increase the added value of its electric motorcycles, Honda is aiming to transform its business from a focus on non-recurring hardware (product) sales business to a recurring business model combining hardware and software.
In the area of software development, Honda is working with its software subsidiary, Drivemode*, to enhance new value creation for its electric motorcycle products in the connected realm. Starting with the commuter EV model scheduled to go on sale in 2024, Honda will offer user experience (UX) features that continuously enrich the quality of riding through connectivity, such as offering optimal route options that take into consideration remaining range, charging spot notification, safe riding coaching and after-sales service support.
Looking ahead, Honda will work toward the establishment of a connected platform where greater value will be generated not only by connecting its motorcycles, but by linking a wide range of Honda products and realizing connectivity beyond their product domains.