Honda Motors has unveiled an all-electric, the 2011 EV-Neo, which will be leased to businesses from December 2010.
The EV-Neo was first announced as a concept model at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show in 2009.
Over 80 percent of the battery can be charged in a period of 20 minutes with the help of a rapid charger. Honda claims the EV-Neo’s performance to be equivalent to that of a 50cc gasoline-powered scooter.
Running on a silent brushless electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery manufactured by Toshiba, the Honda EV-Neo has a battery can be fully charged from a normal 100 V outlet in four hours. The EV-Neo can travel a distance of 30 km (19 miles) in a single charge – that is not great, but makes it perfect for the purpose. Range is a critical factor for electric scooters, but not when it is primarily meant as a delivery vehicle.
After a good look the photos of the Honda EV-Neo, we have to say that delivery bike or not, this is a handsome scooter and looks solid enough to handle its workhorse duties.
Honda plans to lease the new Ev-Neo electric scooter to corporate and individual businesses who offer delivery services including food and beverage delivery chains and courier services. Therefore, most publicity photos of the Honda EV-Neo include images of stuff being delivered – be it beer, or newspapers.
Honda is still undecided on overseas sales and individual customers although it has been revealed that the development of a mass-market model is in progress. The prices of the EV-Neo have not yet been revealed, but prices are tipped to be in the same range as that of a 50cc scooter.
With the EV-Neo, Honda aims to make a mark in the Japanese electric vehicle market, to compete with rival companies like Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors. Yamaha Motor, another motorcycle manufacturer, may also enter the market with plans being drawn up for an electric motorcycle to be launched this summer. Details for this motorcycle are yet to be announced.
Honda has commissioned Toshiba to supply their batteries after having learned lessons from Yamaha’s mistakes that resulted in the recall of all motorbikes sold between 2002 and 2006 that used defective Hitachi lithium ion batteries.
The electric motorcycle market is predicted to grow rapidly in the coming decade. A report by Pike Research, based in Colorado, puts the number of electric two wheelers at 466 million by 2016. A major portion of those vehicles will be sold in Asia.
Key specifications of EV-neo
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||1,820×693×1,066 (mm)|
|Range||Over 30km (at 30km/h on a flat road) per charge|
|Battery type / manufacturer||Lithium-ion battery manufactured by Toshiba|