Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the Honda EV-neo electric scooter will be sold by the Japanese marque to its domestic market by December of 2010.
Details are still sparse regarding the new design, which debuted this past October as a concept model at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. What’s certain is a now-standard (at least by electric PTWs) lithium-ion battery powers the EV-neo. Manufactured by Toshiba, the battery provides the juice for a brushless motor and will take around four hours for a full recharge. Final drive appears to be conventional, unlike many of the latest electric concepts which moutn a motor directly the wheel hub. Details from the photos are unclear in this regard, however, and the PR specs don’t specify. Honda does states the “mass market model” of the electric design is still in development.
The EV-neo promises a range of “over 30km” (18.6 miles). Honda’s spec sheet qualifies the 30km range by saying it’s calculated at riding 30 km/h on “on a flat road.” Not breathtaking performance by any means, but Honda claims it’s on par with a conventional internal combustion 50cc scooter.
The EV-neo delivers lower net C02 emissions from the improved efficiency of its electric powertrain. In its announcement, Honda says of the new EV-neo that is represents the “new-generation personal mobility products which will contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society while transporting people and cargo.”
What cargo will the intrepid Honda ferry? Our favorite pic in the supporting press photos would have to be the crate of “beer” attached to the back of the little scooter, with beaming workers in “beer” aprons. A beer delivery business? Forget electric transportation, this beer delivery business model is Honda innovation at its finest!
The EV-neo announcement makes good on Honda’s December 2008 commitment, stated by CEO Takeo Fukui, to bring an electric motorcycle to market in about two years time. Right on schedule, the new model could be the first of many production electric designs for major OEMs, with the electric motorcycle market projected to boom in the upcoming decade. One report, generated by the Boulder, Colorado-based Pike Research, predicts 466 million electric-powered two-wheelers by 2016. That report cites most of those 466 million will be in the high-volume Asian market.
Honda figures to grab a big chunk of that electric pie, whatever the actual number shakes out to. For now Big Red will focus sales on pizza and beer delivery services. Beer delivery… brilliant.