Next year you’ll be able to buy a production Honda two-wheeler that doesn’t use petrol and that you’ll barely hear coming. Yes, they’re going electric. Honda’s president and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, confirmed plans at a recent press meeting in Tokyo, Japan. He said two-thirds of the cars they sell will be electrified by 2030, focusing on hybrids using both conventional engines and electric motors, and using unique plug-in charging system. And convenient, quick-charging technology is coming to two wheels as well.
‘We are working on a highly-convenient system for electric commuters, which feature a detachable mobile battery that is easy to replace and/or recharge,’ said Hachigo. ‘We are planning to introduce some new models including an electric scooter in 2018.’ This is likely to be the Honda EV-Cub, a battery-powered version of the iconic step-thru’ with an electric motor in tis hub, seen as a concept at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.
This will certainly lead to larger electric motorcycle and scooters; note he said models, not model. Centering their automotive attention on hybrids links nicely with the Neowing concept, a leaning 3-wheeler (trike) with a large-capacity flat-four engine backed by electric power. Shown at the same Tokyo Motor Show as the Honda EV-Cub, the combined power sources and single-sided shaft drive rear are expected to be on the next-generation Goldwing motorcycles. And Honda aren’t involved with Mugen’s TT-winning electric racer just for the crack.
Expect other futuristic whatnots. Hachigo talked about ‘collision-free’ cars and how sensing technology will not be on all new cars for Japan. They’re developing auto lane-change tech and want fully automated motorway driving by 2020. Two-wheelers are obviously different, using steering for balance as well as cornering, however motorcycles won’t escape electronic assistance. Honda’s self-balancing ‘Riding Assist’ NC750 was shown earlier this year, showing their desire to make future motorcycles as hard to prang as cars.