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Honda Plans for Electric Motorcycle

Monday, December 22, 2008
Honda President and CEO  Takeo Fukui.
Honda CEO Takeo Fukui (seen here at the 2007 Tokyo Motorcycle Show) has announced Honda will produce an electric motorcycle in about two year's time.
Doom and gloom has been the economic outlook of late and the motorcycle industry is feeling the pain too. Honda is no exception, with the largest motorcycle manufacturer on the planet announcing cutbacks to its racing programs due to the current economic woes. Last week’s year-end speech by CEO Takeo Fukui delivered some promising bright spots however.

Perhaps the most important news from racing fans perspective was what Mr. Fukui did not say, any large-scale reduction of the firm’s MotoGP effort. Second good news, although overall sales slowed in the second half due to the credit crisis, Honda sales in Asia Oceanica and South America gained a respective 15 and 13%. Third, and potentially a huge impact on the industry as a whole, was the announcement of an electric motorcycle to join the Honda lineup in about two year’s time.

Details are scant but Fukui said of the potential bike: “Honda is currently developing a battery-powered electric motorcycle which emits no CO2 during operation, because the characteristics of a battery can be better utilized in the area of motorcycles, which are often used for short distance travel. Honda is aiming to introduce this electric motorcycle to the market about two years from now.”

Electric motorcycles have thus far been the domain of ambitious startups, like the Vectrix scooter or the Brammo Enertia, which we tested earlier this summer. Since then, however, KTM has unveiled a prototype electric dirt bike and now Honda enters the mix.

The news can’t be good for the startups, with the motorcycle industry juggernaut turning its considerable resources to the electric two-wheeled market. Honda has revolutionized transportation in the past, with its Cub the most sold vehicle in history. It is not unreasonable to imagine Big Red doing it again with an affordable battery-powered urban commuter.

Looks like we will find out “about two years from now.”

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Comments
Honda Guy -Get a bike review  December 29, 2008 01:39 PM
Hey Zero X guy - nice job getting a plug in there :). You might try though getting the Zero guys to send MCUSA a bike to test or invite them out for a track day and they could have an entire article up here about how cool there stuff is. Its what these guys do.
Ron -I agree  December 29, 2008 01:36 PM
I love that electric bikes are finally getting the media attention that they deserve. I agree with 'Zero X Owner': They make a fantastic dirt bike and it is available NOW. The fact that Honda, and other large companies, are finally starting to get into the electric motorcycle game just goes to show that these electric bikes and the way of the future! so exciting.
Zero X Owner -http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/  December 24, 2008 02:06 PM
Honda is at least 5 years behind on this, as is KTM, as is Brommo, none of which is producing actual electric vehicles that are being sold to regular consumers and are on the road: http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/ Honda has been saying they will have an electric motorcycle on the road in two year for at least the last three years. I predict that in two years they will still be saying that. Tomorrow is always a day away.. In the meantime... http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/ I love mine.