Honda Motor Co.'s all-electric scooter will soon arrive in the Chinese market in its first attempt to mass-market its zero-emission motorbikes. Honda, the world's top motorcycle maker, claims that the EV-neo has a range of more than 30 km on a full charge.
Honda wants its EV-neo, which is similar in size to a 50cc scooter, to appeal to commercial users in Japan. Lease sales for the scooter will start in December in Japan.
Toshiyuki Inuma, general manager of Honda's motorcycle operations, said that there were no immediate plans to release the scooter outside Japan.
But Inuma said that the company is seriously considering going to China, which it estimates will have an annual demand of 17 million electric bikes.
At a test-ride event for the prototype model, Inuma told reporters that it will have to adjust the cost and performance further to make it commercially viable.
The price range for the EV-neo has yet to be announced but Honda claims that after accounting for lower power, maintenance and other running costs, the cost to the consumer would be roughly equivalent to a similar gasoline scooter. When using a rapid charger, the lithium-ion batteries can be recharged to about 80% of capacity in 20 minutes.
When using a normal socket, the batteries can be fully charged in four hours. Meanwhile, the battery-run scooter from its rival, Yamaha Motor Co., the world's second-biggest motorcycle maker, will go on sale in Japan later this year. There are also plans for Yamaha's scooter to be launched in Taiwan and Europe.