Honda announces new e-scooters, battery swap stations

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Honda’s push to develop electric two-wheelers continues, with battery-powered versions of the Benly and Gyro delivery scooters unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, along with a plan to develop a range of quick-swap battery stations in Japan in 2020.

We haven’t seen specs for the new electric step-throughs, but they’re no doubt intended to fill the same role as a 49 cc utility scooter, doing in-town deliveries and similar tasks. Honda’s shown similar machines before, so these aren’t exactly earth-shattering news, although it’s always good to see a company continuing to develop its plans.

Instead, the big news is Honda’s plan to develop a series of battery quick-change stations, opening them across Japan next winter. These will be set up so scooter riders can pull in, take out the old, discharged battery and swap it for a freshly-charged unit, then ride away.

The Big Four have been working on plans for this sort of arrangement for a while now, with an announcement this spring that Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki were going to develop the technology together. Has that plan been shelved, with Big Red now going it alone? Hard to say.

What we do know is that the Honda charging stations will work with the Honda Mobile Power Pack for now, and we haven’t heard word of any other manufacturer launching a compatible scooter.

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