MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Honda EV-Neo: A Start

When Honda announced some time ago that they would be introducing a battery powered two-wheeler, I imagined something a bit more potent than the EV-neo, the latest prototype of which was introduced earlier this week.

The EV-neo will “begin lease sales in Japan in December, 2010 to businesses . . ..” This is initially intended as a delivery vehicle.

The practical problem with the EV-neo, and other electrical motorcycles currently available for purchase or lease, is power and range. The EV-neo has a range guaranteed to exceed 18 miles. Not much, and only achievable “at 30 kilometers per hour on a flat road.” Apparently, if you have to climb a hill, or two, you might not get to 18 miles. And since 30 kmh is less than 20 mph, the EV-neo better stay on the side streets, or in the alleys.

Of course, the EV-neo is a start. The projected market for electric two-wheelers is massive, with China being the biggest single market. Honda has sold more low-power two-wheelers for city use than any other manufacturer in history. They will not miss out on this emerging market . . . you can count on that.

What the EV-neo lacks in outright speed, it apparently makes up for in terms of torque. Hence, its intended use as a delivery vehicle for pizza, beer, etc. It can be completely recharged in four hours, and substantially recharged in less than an hour.

I can imagine the EV-neo is a test bed, of sorts, for the development by Honda of more practical and useful (in terms of range and top speed) electric vehicles in the future.

* * *

MD Readers Respond:

  • I agree this is a logical starting point for Honda and can only mean
    good things for the electric motorcycle market.
    All the technology and innovation form companies like Brammo and Zero
    is great but the impact of having Big Red
    step-up is tremendous. That electric XR I’ve been hoping for might not
    be to far off in the future.   Kevin

  • For anyone familiar with the subject, the EV-Neo’s performance/range figures are less than impressive. I have an electric bicycle, which I purchased almost four years ago, with the same performance. And mine was not the top of the line unit. I would expect Honda to do better with an initial offering. Maybe the Chinese market is it’s intended goal, but it would be a waste of time to try and sell it here. I can ride my bicycle on the bike trails and the street, and go just as far, just as fast, with the same recharge times, at a fraction of the cost of an electric motorcycle. Maybe it’s just a start for Honda, as you’ve stated. But Honda appears to be starting in a race that’s being led by smaller competition, and they’re way behind for now.
  • An electric Ruckus?   Lawrence
  • As long as you are going to write in a professional capacity about such things as “torque”, why not take a few minutes to figure out enough to understand why it does not make sense to equate torque with low-speed engine performance in the manner that you routinely do? The fact is that you equate low-speed engine performance with “torque” in a manner whereby the effect of torque is implicitly and ostensibly differentiated from the effect of power, and such that you have effectively given an alternative meaning to the word “torque”, that is not the same meaning that you will find in any dictionary! I know that you think that it makes perfect sense to use the word “torque” in the way that you use it (and in the way that is popular with most automotive journalists and much of the public), but the plain truth of the matter is that this does not make one whit of sense. As long as you are going to write in a professional capacity about such things as “torque”, why not take a few minutes to figure out enough to understand why it does not make sense to equate torque with low-speed engine performance in the manner that you routinely do? The fact is that you equate low-speed engine performance with “torque” in a manner whereby the effect of torque is implicitly and ostensibly differentiated from the effect of power, and such that you have effectively given an alternative meaning to the word “torque”, that is not the same meaning that you will find in any dictionary! I know that you think that it makes perfect sense to use the word “torque” in the way that you use it (and in the way that is popular with most automotive journalists and much of the public), but the plain truth of the matter is that this does not make one whit of sense.   Thomas