Honda has announced a new pair of electric scooters at the Tokyo Motor Show, as well as plans for a network of battery quick-swap stations.

Honda’s new electric scooters are based off of existing models, the Benly and Gyro delivery scooters. Those scooters are powered by gasoline engines, but the updated versions have electric motors, with quick-swap batteries—specifically, the Honda Mobile Power Pack.

We’ve seen the Honda Mobile Power Pack before, or at least, a different version of it. Honda’s been showing it off ever since 2018. Honda says the Power Pack is intended to be used “as a power source for small-sized electric mobility, or for the household.” Wait—didn’t Honda also announce a deal with Yamaha to work on quick-swap EV batteries, and a second, later deal with the rest of the Big Four to work on the same basic tech? What’s happening with all that?

No word out of the Tokyo Motor Show on those inter-manufacturer deals, at least not at this point. For now, it seems Honda intends to go it alone with this battery tech.

Along with the new scooters and their interesting swappable batteries, Honda is also planning to open a string of quick-swap battery stations in Japan. Scooterists will be able to ride up, quickly change out their depleted battery for one with a fresh charge, and ride away, in about the same time (or less) than a gas station stop takes. The timeline is ambitious; Honda plans to open these stations in early 2020. No word on whether we’ll see this program expanded to other countries in the near future, but it seems likely that’s the ultimate goal.


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