Honda to start battery-sharing service in India for auto rickshaws

The Yomiuri Shimbun
An electric three-wheeled taxi, also known as an auto rickshaw, in India, where Honda will begin a battery sharing service.

Honda Motor Co. will start a battery-sharing service for India’s ubiquitous three-wheeled taxis, its way of supporting efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a nation facing worsening air pollution amid rapid economic growth.

Honda aims to expand sales of its batteries in the huge Indian market by electrifying the taxis, also known as auto rickshaws.

Auto rickshaws number about 8 million in India, and are an indispensable means of daily transportation. Rickshaws in urban areas are fueled mainly by natural gas, and converting to electricity has become an issue.

Honda will set up a local subsidiary and establish battery-sharing stations in urban areas where drivers can replace a battery that has run low. The service will allow the drivers to ply their trade without worrying about losing customers due to a dead battery or having to wait for a recharge.

Honda has been conducting trials in India since the beginning of this year, and aims to launch the service in the first half of 2022 in Mumbai and other urban areas.