Can leased batteries make Electric Vehicles more affordable?


Battery leasing has been seen as a potential solution to make electric vehicles more affordable while also ensuring the proper management of battery waste. Honda, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Corporation, has recently announced the formation of a joint venture company called Altna, which aims to revolutionize the EV market in Japan through battery leasing. This article explores the details of this partnership and its potential implications for the future of EV adoption.

Honda-Mitsubishi Partnership

The joint venture company, Altna, is a 50:50 venture between Honda Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Corporation. By combining Honda’s EV expertise with Mitsubishi’s power-generation capabilities, the company aims to optimize EV usage costs, increase the lifetime value of batteries, and meet the growing demand for grid-storage batteries. This partnership signifies a significant step towards promoting sustainable mobility solutions in Japan.

Battery Leasing Model

The battery leasing model proposed by Altna involves leasing batteries for the Honda N-VAN e commercial minicar, starting at a price of around $15,500. The leasing prices are based on the assumption that batteries will be utilized for a long period, from on-vehicle to stationary applications. This approach aims to reduce the financial burden on EV users and create a more sustainable battery lifecycle.

Grid-Storage Solution

In addition to leasing batteries for vehicle use, Altna will also manage the second and third lives of these batteries for grid-storage purposes. By monitoring the usage conditions of EV batteries and recovering end-of-life batteries for recycling, the company aims to recover materials for making new cells. This holistic approach emphasizes the importance of responsible battery management in the transition to electric mobility.

Smart Charging Innovations

Altna’s focus on smart charging extends beyond optimizing charging schedules to avoid peak grid times. The company plans to offer vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services in the future, with an eye towards leveraging renewable energy sources. This forward-thinking approach to charging infrastructure highlights the role of innovative technology in driving the evolution of electric mobility.

Global Implications

While the Altna battery leasing plan is currently limited to Japan, its success could pave the way for similar initiatives in other markets, including the United States. Although no automaker has yet implemented battery leasing for private vehicles in the US, the potential cost savings and environmental benefits associated with this model could drive future adoption. As the electric vehicle market continues to evolve, innovative solutions like battery leasing are likely to play a crucial role in shaping the future of sustainable transportation.

In conclusion, the Honda-Mitsubishi partnership on battery leasing represents a significant development in the evolution of electric mobility. By reimagining the traditional ownership model and emphasizing responsible battery management, Altna is poised to set new standards for sustainable transportation solutions. As the global automotive industry shifts towards electrification, initiatives like this underscore the importance of collaboration, innovation, and sustainability in shaping the future of transportation.

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