Hero MotoCorp forges alliance for battery swapping network

Two years ago, a leading think tank in India proposed to require all new motorbikes and scooters sold there from 2025 onwards to be electric only.  The proposal was made to curb pollution and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. 

Though the proposal was met with heavy criticism, more progressive countries like Germany, France, and Norway have made similar commitments to go fully electric a few years from now.

In a more recent development, the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturers, Honda, KTM, Piaggio, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki, had created a consortium to standardize batteries and charging systems. The members agreed to use a standard battery and charger to make it easier to recharge with uniform battery swapping stations and encourage consumer adoption.

In the world’s largest motorcycle market, India, Hero MotoCorp and Gogoro (of Taiwan) will team up to possibly set up the world’s largest network of battery swapping stations.

The partnership will allow Hero-branded electric motorcycles to utilize Gogoro's platform of batteries, charging and swapping stations, and subscription technology through its Gogoro Network, which is already operational in Taiwan.

This is no easy undertaking for Gogoro. Last year, Hero MotoCorp sold almost 5.8-million motorcycles worldwide, despite being in the midst of a global pandemic. And while Hero won't switch all of its models to electric yet, it will have to ramp up its production pretty quickly to be able to produce batteries for the 6-8 million motorcycles Hero plans to sell annually. 

“Our strategic partnership with Gogoro is in line with our vision, ‘Be the Future of Mobility,’ which we are bringing alive through our mission to ‘Create, Collaborate & Inspire’,” said Hero MotoCorp chairman and CEO, Dr. Pawan Munjal.

While battery swapping stations have yet to even be set up in the Philippines, our government is actively supporting programs for alternative modes of transportation like cycling and electric kick scooters. There are already 296 kilometers of bicycle lanes that can accommodate electric active transport vehicles across the metro.