Transport Theory

Honda's zero-emissions scooter arrives in Europe

Posting in Cities

The EV-neo has a range of 21 miles, making it an eco-friendly option for urban commuting.

Honda's EV-neo electric scooter makes its European debut beginning this month in Barcelona, Spain. The city, in which motorcycles account for 30% of all vehicles, is a fitting location for the zero-emissions scooter's demonstration program.

The automaker is providing 18 EV-neos to the Barcelona City Council for one year. Together with the Council and RACC, Spain's leading auto club, Honda will monitor the scooter's performance in Barcelona on a daily basis.

"We are delighted to bring Honda's EV technology to Europe for the first time," said Yukitoshi Fujisaka, President of Montesa Honda. "Testing the EV-neo in European conditions is an important step as we develop our EV activities."

The EV-neo uses a 2.8 kw motor, and a Lithium-ion battery. The scooter will run for 34 km (21 miles) at 30km (18.6 miles) per hour on level ground, making it a viable alternative for urban commuting. A portable charger that fits under the seat will charge the unit in 3.5 hours, according to the automaker, while an optional rapid charger will fully charge the EV-neo in about 30 minutes.

Below, Honda explains how the scooter works:

Honda has designed the EV system of the EV-neo so that riders of gasoline engine motorcycles can naturally transition to it. Basic operation is exactly the same:

  • The rider operates the throttle, and an APS (Accelerator Position Sensor) converts the degree of throttle opening into an electric signal.
  • The PDU (Power Drive Unit) calculates the optimal motor output level based on the signal from the APS and information from the BMU (Battery Management Unit: Manages battery condition - temperature, remaining charge and other parameters).
  • Then, to produce this optimal output level, the PDU sends the appropriate amount of electricity from the battery to the motor.

Honda began selling the scooter in Japan in April 2011 and within the first year expects to sell 1,000 units, which start at 4,000 Euros (US$5,800).

Photos: Honda

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Channtal Fleischfresser

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure