Honda CEO and president Takahiro Hachigo has confirmed that the EV-CUB electric concept scooter will go into production in 2018.
He also revealed the company is developing a second electric bike as a delivery machine for the Japanese Post Office. It will use charging stations at post office buildings and have a hot-swappable battery, allowing a fully charged pack to be slotted in with no break in the bike’s use. This same concept could also find its way into consumer machines.
The electric bikes are part of a huge push towards battery, fuel-cell and hybrid power announced by Honda.
By 2030 Honda expects two-thirds of its automobiles to be electric or plug-in hybrids and has set up a specific Electric Vehicle Development Division within its R&D department to cater for the technology.
Bikes are sure to follow. Honda has already shown interest in electric two-wheelers with concepts such as the RC-E sportsbike and the racing effort of the Mugen Shinden TT Zero machine, which is widely known to be a Honda-backed program.
Other developments announced by Hachigo include a push towards automated cars. As demonstrated by Honda’s self-balancing Riding Assist concept, automated bikes are possible, so the impact of automated cars on motorcycling could be significant.
By Ben Purvis