Panasonic to supply battery cells to Honda

Tinuku - Panasonic Corp will supply automotive lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery cells to Honda Motor Co Ltd. Multiple units of the cell will be combined to make a "replaceable" battery pack, which will be used for Honda's scooter-type electric two-wheeled vehicle (EV motorbike) and compact four-wheeled electric vehicle (EV).

Panasonic will start a test of battery sharing in Indonesia in December to check the compatibility of the battery with the vehicles and its usability. In cooperation with Honda, which deals with a wide variety of vehicles including two- and four-wheeled vehicles, Panasonic will make efforts to catch up with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL).

Tinuku Panasonic to supply battery cells to Honda

The name of the replaceable Li-ion battery pack is "Honda Mobile Power Pack," which has a carrying handle on the top side. The mass of the battery pack is expected to be about 8 kg so that a woman can carry it with one hand. Panasonic and Honda said that they have not yet decided the number of cells and the capacity of the battery. However, in consideration of convenience, the capacity will probably be 1-1.5kWh.

There are three advantages in using a replaceable battery. Specifically, it enables to reduce the time it takes to charge a battery, replace a battery with a new model in accordance with technological advancements and use the same battery for multiple purposes, lowering the purchasing price of a vehicle.

The Mobile Power Pack will be shared by the EV motorbike and compact EV and will be used as a residential storage battery. The EV motorbike is "PCX Electric," which Honda plans to release in the Japanese market in the fall.

The PCX Electric is an electric version of the "PCX" scooter, which is also available as gasoline-powered and hybrid (HEV) scooters. Two units of the Mobile Power Pack will be inserted into space for a helmet under the seat. The rated output and size of the PCX Electric are 0.98kW and 1,923 (L) x 745 (W) x 1,107mm (H), respectively.

Also, the compact EV supporting the Mobile Power Pack will be commercialized at an early date. In the test, Honda expects to use an off-road vehicle developed based on the "Honda Mobile Power Pack 4W-Vehicle Concept" two-seat compact EV, which the company showed at CES 2018 in Las Vegas in January.

The off-road vehicle is equipped with two or more units of the pack on its lateral sides. Unlike the PCX EV motorbike, Honda has not yet decided to release it in the market.