Japan: Honda EV-neo Electric Scooter

Honda Japan

Honda motorcycles announced that it will finally start the lease sales of the newly developed EV-neo electric scooter on Friday, Dec. 24, 2010 in Japan.

The 2011 Honda EV-neo is a zero-emission electric scooter developed for businesses such as delivery services and which delivers a clean and quiet ride. The two-wheeler qualifies as a first-class motor-driven cycle in Japan, for engine displacements of 50cc or less.

Honda plans to deliver about 100 test scooters in Japan between Dec. 2010 and March 2011 to pilot businesses for the purpose of collecting riding data prior to the lease sales of the EV-neo to general businesses and individual business owners in April 2011.

The wide range of data collected from business use together with the data obtained from test operations of 10 prototype scooters, conducted since Oct. 2010, is expected to be used in future development of zero-emission electric scooters and motorcycles.

The Honda EV-neo uses an electric scooter motor that generates high torque at low-speed (and with cargo loaded) to achieve a acceptable starting and hill-climbing performance. Generating a powerful torque in the low-speed range, the power unit allows the scooter to be started uphill on a 12-degree grade while loaded with 30 kg of cargo.

An in-house manufactured brush-less motor that applies Honda Insight technology have been adopted. This newly developed power unit emits absolutely no CO2 from riding the scooter and produces a quiet running sound worthy of any electric bike.

The EV-neo scooter uses the new SCiB lithium-ion battery from Toshiba Corporation which is well-suited for repeated charging and discharging and for quick charging, and also delivers stable performance at extremely low temperatures.

A quick charger, designed exclusively for the Honda EV-neo uses a 200-volt power source, providing a full charging from empty in about 30 minutes under 25°C conditions, making it possible to recharge the vehicle quickly during spare moments in the working day.

The Honda portable charger can be stored under the seat and provides 100% charging from empty in about 3.5 hours at 25°C.

The Honda EV-neo electric scooter has a body design, which features a wide and flat loading space that enables easy loading, and a flat floor that makes it easy to get on and off the scooter, ensures ease of use in delivery services and other businesses in Japan.

Cargo totaling 30 kg (the maximum statutory loading capacity for 50cc-or-under first-class motor-driven cycles in Japan), composed of 5 kg in the front, 5 kg in the luggage space under the seat, and 20 kg on the rear deck, can be loaded onto the scooter body.

A low-center-of-gravity design that places the major weight of the battery under the floor, combined with the 12-inch tires, provide enhanced riding stability with loaded cargo. Securing a 50-degree handlebar turning angle to the right and the left, the vehicle is easy to maneuver in alleys through its sharp turning capability.

The EV-neo scooter uses Honda’s unique Combined Brake System (CBS) to ensure stable braking performance even with a full load of cargo. The center stand and standard side stand come enclosed in rubber to reduce the noise made by kicking up the stand, thus helping to ensure quietness even when deliveries require frequent parking stops.

The 2011 Honda EV-neo PRO scooter, which is based on the EV-neo and will be put on sale simultaneously in Japan, adds a large rear carrier that is convenient for delivery of newspapers and other items, and a standard-equipment bracket that can further enhance load capacity by attaching a basket in front.

By offering two-wheelers (scooters and motorcycles) in Japan with environmental performance to a larger range of customers, Honda is looking to advancing its contribution to reducing CO2 emissions on a global scale.