Like most Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, Honda has been late to the electrification game. But don’t count the storied motorbike brand out just yet, as the company’s upcoming electric moped looks to be shaping up nicely based on recent IP filings.
Honda recently announced that it planned to rollout 10 different electric motorcycle models by 2025, though most of those are expected to be light electric motorcycles or electric mopeds.
Zero and Harley-Davidson likely don’t have anything to be worried about for several more years.
Light electric motorcycles and electric mopeds are much easier to produce, are subject to significantly fewer regulations, and can carry much lower price tags than are likely to entice a wider range of riders.
And now we’re getting our first look at an upcoming Honda electric moped thanks to filings the company submitted to the European Union Intellectual Property Office, according to Bennetts.
The model shown looks to borrow much of the frame and componentry seen on a previous Honda and MUJI collaboration, resulting in a classically styled electric moped.
In fact, fans of the original Honda Cub motorcycle might recognize the design as Cub-like. The Honda Cub, sold under multiple model names and several variants, is the most produced motor vehicle in the world. It was a staple of 1960s and ’70s motorcycle culture, offering young riders a low-cost and low-power two-wheeler that was perfect for urban and suburban exploration.
This upcoming Honda electric moped appears to share much of the same design ethos, yet with updated styling and a pair of pedals that should help classify it as an electric bike or moped in many regions.
The single-seater electric moped sports built-in lighting, a broad front shield to protect the rider’s legs from splashing water or road debris, a wide foot platform, and of course those stubby pedals that help exempt it from motorcycle classification.
The wheels feature a six-spoke cast design with a small hydraulic brake in the front and a rear drum brake.
The design appears to offer both front and rear suspension, and a small chain can be seen running along the rear swingarm. That chain is purely for the pedal drivetrain, as the rear wheel seems to hold a large hub motor at its center. If produced, it is likely that the pedals would go unused by most riders, and some may even choose to remove them altogether.
It is unclear what type of battery the bike will use or where it would be mounted. The seat may lift up to allow access to a rear battery compartment, but it is more likely that we’ll eventually find just a small storage compartment back there.
The underfoot area is the most likely future home for the battery, which could prove to be one of Honda’s 48V swappable battery packs that follow Gogoro’s battery design.
It’s unclear what the top speed of Honda’s first electric moped will be, but a 28 mph (45 km/h) limit seems likely. That’s the maximum allowable speed for e-bikes in the US and for Speed Pedelecs in much of Europe.
Perhaps Asia’s market is a better bellwether though, as Asia accounts for many more times the sales of electric bikes and e-mopeds than Europe and North America combined.
The inclusion of a license plate holder on the rear fender could indicate that Honda is aiming at more than just electric bicycle-class designation, and instead targeting full moped status for the upcoming two-wheeler. In many jurisdictions across North America, Europe, and Asia, mopeds have more lax license requirements but can sometimes still be required to bare a number plate for identification.
Do you think a lightweight electric moped like this could help Honda get some skin in the game when it comes to electric two-wheelers? Could you see yourself cruising your town on a modern day electric Honda Cub moped?
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
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