Remember the Honda Motocompo? It was a cute little folding motorbike built to live in the back of a tiny hatchback. Now, Honda is paying tribute to that epic bit of '80s nostalgia with a new electric scooter called the Motocompacto.
Much like the Motocompo before it, the Motocompacto is intended as a "first and last mile" transportation solution. Think of it as a nifty way to make your way between a poorly-located city parking spot and your actual desired destination. The Motocompacto will offer 12 miles of range on a single charge, and a maximum speed of up to 15 mph. It's set to retail for $995, becoming available for purchase online or through Honda and Acura dealerships from November this year.
The scooter is propelled by a single permanent-magnet motor, delivering 0.65 horsepower to the front wheel and 11.8 lb-ft of torque. The electric scooter can be charged from a regular 110-volt outlet in just 3.5 hours, both in its folded and deployed configurations. Total weight is 41 pounds, making it heavy but not impossible to carry.
Unlike stand-up electric scooter designs, the Motocompacto features a seat and foot pegs for a more traditional riding experience. The nifty folding design allows the scooter to be quickly transformed into a compact stackable case, suitable for carrying on public transport or storing in a luggage compartment. Folded, it measures just 29.2 by 21.1 by 3.7 inches, making it easy to stow and go. Honda engineers from Ohio and California are behind the Motocompacto, filing 32 patents during the development process.
Feature-wise, the scooter has front and rear lights, a charge gauge, and a digital speedometer. There is also some limited onboard storage, while the scooter's settings can be changed via Bluetooth and a smartphone app. The scooter's charger can be stowed on board for easy recharging on the go. It also has a welded steel loop on the kickstand so it can be securely locked up in public. Honda plans to launch a line of accessories, including a helmet, backpack, and apparel, for those who want to be all matchy-matchy with their swish folding scooter. Fun!
The only real question mark around the Motocompacto is where and how to ride it. With a top speed of 15 mph, it's not ideal for riding on the streets, but a sit-down scooter is a little strange to ride on the sidewalk, too. Honda's suggestion is that it's the perfect vehicle for getting around "cityscapes and college campuses." In those roles, it could certainly have some value.
Honda isn't the only automaker interested in the mobility benefits of electric scooters, either. Hyundai patented a similar idea in recent years, though we're yet to see any public evidence of a production model in the works. In any case, e-scooters have become a big market in recent years, with even Bugatti slapping its logo on an admittedly stylish example.
Unlike the Motocompo, it appears Honda hasn't designed the Motocompacto to pair with any one Honda or Acura vehicle. Regardless, its compact size means it should pair nicely with and easily stow inside pretty much any model in the range. If you're looking for a scooter to get you around town in style, Honda's new foldable darling might be just the ticket.
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