Battery sharing for electric motorbikes starts in Tokyo

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike sits on an eco-friendly electric motorcycle to promote its use in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on Tuesday. 

A battery-sharing service for electric motorcycles with removable batteries was launched by the Tokyo metropolitan government and other entities on Tuesday as part of a bid to promote electric vehicles that have low environmental impact.

Fifteen battery stations will be set up around Tokyo by the end of this fiscal year, allowing registered users to exchange a low battery for a fully charged one. Multiple batteries can be charged simultaneously. The number of sharing stations is expected to increase over time to allow electric motorcycles to travel further afield.

Batteries that conform to standards agreed by four major motorcycle manufacturers, including Honda Motor Co., can be charged at the stations.

Swappable batteries are currently used only in vehicles for corporate use, but the local government will introduce models for personal use in the future. Tokyo metropolitan government aims to make all new motorcycles sold in the capital to be gasoline-free by 2035.

“We hope that supporting the installment of battery stations will accelerate the wider use of electric motorcycles,” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said at a launch ceremony held in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on Tuesday.