We might still be waiting for Honda's electric cars and crossovers, but the automaker is getting ready to have a fleet of electric motorcycles in a big hurry. The company has plans to launch 10 of them globally by 2025 and aims to sell one million a year within the next five years.
Most of us see Honda as a car company, but that's missing a big part of its business. Honda is one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world, selling around 17 million of them in a year. More than four times the number of cars it sells. It wants 15 percent of those to be electric by the end of the decade, playing a huge role in the company's quest for carbon neutrality.
The electrification of Honda will include all types of motorcycles. Honda showed a slide that had (in silhouette) everything from urban commuter scooters to dirt bikes, sport bikes, and even cruisers.
Honda is already offering the e:Business Bike to Japan Post and Vietnam Post for use in mail delivery. These bikes get a swappable battery pack, which Honda says is ideal for solving range and charging issues for business fleets. Two EV commuter models will launch in most of the world in 2024 and 2025.
The first models we expect here are in what Honda calls the FUN category. Three of these large bikes will launch by 2025, built on a new platform currently in development. A kids Fun EV model will follow as well, one meant to encourage a new generation to look to motorcycles for the future.
Buried in the press release might be the biggest deal for EVs, both cars and motorcycles. Honda says that it is working on a solid-state battery in-house. And that it plans to equip its electric motorcycles with this solid-state battery. A solid-state battery design is expected to offer more range through better power density, use far fewer of the expensive and hazardous to mine metals currently in EV batteries, and to offer much better reliability and service life compared with current designs. Honda has previously said it is working on solid-state along with GM, but this is one of the first times Honda has said they're close to production.
In many of its markets, Honda is working to standardize battery swapping. While not practical for cars and SUVs, the idea seems much more useful for motorcycles thanks to smaller packs, smaller vehicles, and easier access to the battery. Honda has a joint venture in Indonesia to share batteries which is currently operating a service in Bali. Honda plans to start rickshaw battery swapping in India later this year, and in Japan, four of the big motorcycle manufacturers have agreed to a battery swapping standard.
So expect a host of additional EVs from Honda over the next few years. Just don't expect them to be cars or crossovers, aside from the upcoming Prologue crossover. With far more motorcycles on the road than cars and trucks in the world, this could be a very interesting time for cleaner transportation.
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