Honda recently announced a big push for electrification, pledging that it would be 100% electric by 2040, at which point it would no longer sell gas-powered vehicles. And with motorcycles making up a decent chunk of Honda’s sales, the company is now announcing plans for four new models of electric motorcycles.
The company hasn’t revealed any firm details about the size or type of the new electric two-wheelers.
However, we have learned that the first three will target the urban market, while the fourth will be a larger electric motorcycle designed for the “Fun” market.
The first three models that are slated for release by 2024 appear to include two electric scooter-style vehicles and a small format electric motorcycle.
All would likely be in the 125cc-equivalent or less category, with their main uses being for urban transport.
Such lightweight electric motorcycles have proven to be a popular starting point, with Husqvarna recently announcing its own lightweight electric motorcycle concept known as the E-Pilen.
There’s a decent chance that we’ve actually already seen what could potentially become Honda’s first lightweight electric motorcycle.
Two different patents have shown off a pair of electric Honda motorcycles.
The first patent includes what appears to be a CB125R with an electric powertrain. That model could be particularly interesting since it is based on a bike designed for new riders — and electric motorcycles have proven to be a favorite among new riders.
The second patent we’ve seen from Honda shows what appears to be a Honda Grom motorcycle sporting an electric conversion.
We don’t have any indication of what Honda’s larger electric motorcycle could be, other than an off-the-wall patent that Honda filed for an electric motorcycle with a drone built into its tail.
Honda and the other major legacy motorcycle manufacturers are largely playing catchup when it comes to electric motorcycles.
Electric-only startups like Zero Motorcycles and Energica have proven that demand exists for powerful electric street bikes.
Energica electric motorcycles riding in formation
Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle became the best-selling electric motorcycle in the US, according to the company, and demonstrated that legacy manufacturers could apply their existing resources to develop electric vehicles.
Now, Honda and others are scrambling to grab their own slice of that pie.
Honda recently joined a consortium along with other major manufacturers to develop a shared standard for swappable batteries.
Such a standard could make it easier for the manufacturers to develop electric motorcycles around an existing battery architecture.
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