At least four Honda electric bikes are under development, as per a new EV roadmap released on 23 April 2021. These electric bike launches would be a small part of the Japanese automaker’s ambitious vision of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.
In his speech at an inaugural press conference held last week, Toshihiro Mibe, President and Representative Director, Honda, confirmed the plans to launch three new personal-use electric motorcycles by 2024. Moreover, a slide of his presentation, pictured above, suggested that there’s a plan to launch unconventionally designed electric motorcycles as well.
By 2024, we are planning to introduce three new EV models for personal use in engine size(s) of below 50 cc and below 125 cc. We are planning to introduce also “FUN” area as well. Honda will continue (to) introduce EV models in each region promptly based on changing demand.Toshihiro Mibe, President and Representative Director, Honda (Inaugural Press Conference)
On 1 March 2021, Honda signed a letter of intent with KTM, Piaggio, and Yamaha Motor to form a battery swapping network. Perhaps, some of the Honda electric bikes arriving by 2024 will have a compact but swappable battery system. The model we have discussed below isn’t expected to offer that convenience.
First Honda electric bike surfaces via a patent application
Late last year, a patent application had suggested that a Honda electric bike based on the Honda CB125R is in the works. The Honda CB125R is the smallest member of the Honda Neo Sports Cafe naked bike family.
ElectricVehicleWeb.in had come across a new patent filing for the power unit structure of a new Honda electric bike. If it makes it to production, the model could be the first Honda Neo-Retro Sports Cafe EV. The size and design of the bike in the patent application look very close to that of the Honda CB125R. Honda has chosen this platform for its electric bike probably because, like in the case of the CB125R, its main target customers would be style-conscious young riders who need a simple vehicle to move around the city.
The patented Honda electric bike features two rectangular parallelepiped high-voltage batteries positioned below the tank and rider seat. The power unit or the propulsion motor is placed all the way down and is denoted by the letter ‘P’ in the patent images. The power control unit (PCU), part no. 18 in the picture, is positioned right above it, which means that the harness connecting it with the motor can be kept short.
As for the batteries, it is positioned under the tank, item no. 37 is relatively bigger and should be the main one. The second battery was positioned under the rider seat, item no. 36, is also mounted. It’s safe to assume that the main battery won’t be swappable.
Video Courtesy: Honda Moto France
Swappable batteries offer more convenience and allow an immediate solution during battery depletion or an unplanned long-distance trip. It is a new business model for auto manufacturers. The limited-edition Honda PCX Electric electric maxi-scooter comes with a “Honda Mobile Power Pack” that comprises two such (1.05 kWh Lithium-ion) removable batteries.
The first Honda electric bike in Europe could be unveiled next year. Competitors would include Husqvarna E-Pilen series, Super Soco TC, Super Soco TS and Horwin CR6.