Cub is back, as an evee

Honda to make the EV- Cub for Ja­panese mar­ket by 2019

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING - SPIROS TSANTILAS

THE elec­tric- pow­ered ver­sion of the Honda Su­per Cub is slated to go into pro­duc­tion in 2018, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s new pres­i­dent and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo.

First in­tro­duced as a con­cept model in 2009, it will be ini­tially of­fered only in Ja­pan, be­fore ex­pand­ing to sev­eral Asian mar­kets.

Honda’s Su­per Cub hardly needs an in­tro­duc­tion, be­ing one of the most pop­u­lar two- wheel­ers ever pro­duced. Since 1958 over 87 mil­lion Cubs have rolled out of as many as 15 dif­fer­ent Honda fac­to­ries all over the world. Its im­pact has been so great that it be­came the first ve­hi­cle to ob­tain three- di­men­sional trade­mark reg­is­tra­tion in Ja­pan.

The elec­tric- pow­ered Cub first ap­peared as a con­cept model at the 2009 Tokyo Mo­tor Show, show­cas­ing two- wheel drive with elec­tric mo­tors in each hub. It resur­faced last Oc­to­ber at the 2015 Tokyo Mo­tor Show, this time with a sin­gle elec­tric mo­tor in the rear wheel hub.

With a styling that pays ob­vi­ous homage to the iconic 1958 model, the EV- Cub is a pre­cise replica of the 2015 Su­per Cub con­cept; a ver­sion that ap­pears closer to what an ac­tual pro­duc­tion model would look like. Along with the front wheel hub mo­tor, gone is the LED light­show of the 2009 con­cept.

The bat­tery pack is mounted low in the frame, and is re­mov­able via a tilt­ing cover on the left side of the bike.

Ef­fec­tively the EV- Cub ap­pears to be lit­tle more than a city com­muter with rel­a­tively small range and per­for­mance fig­ures in the orig­i­nal 50 cc Su­per Cub’s ball­park — but with­out any of­fi­cial specs in hand, we’re just spec­u­lat­ing.

If Honda were to pro­duce it now, it would prob­a­bly em­ploy the pow­er­train of the only elec­tric scooter in the com­pany’s lineup — the EV- Neo. Pow­ered by a 0.9 kWh bat­tery, it peaks at 2,8 kW) for a range of 34 km at 30 km/ h on level ground.

Hope­fully, Honda will opt for a more po­tent pack­age, given that by 2018 the EV- Neo’s tech­nol­ogy will be al­most 10 years old. Lit­tle else is known at this time, ex­cept for what Honda’s CEO an­nounced.

The EV- Cub is planned to go into pro­duc­tion in two years’ time, ini­tially to be of­fered ex­clu­sively for the Ja­panese mar­ket.

The next tar­get sees the main ASEAN ( As­so­ci­a­tion of South­East Asian Na­tions) mar­kets — a cor­ner of the globe where the Cub fam­ily is ex­tremely pop­u­lar.

There’s no word on whether Honda would con­sider ex­port­ing to other mar­kets later, but we wouldn’t bet against this op­tion.

The Su­per Cub is a global celebrity and, should mar­ket con­di­tions al­low for it, we can­not imag­ine why Honda would miss out on the op­por­tu­nity.

At least in the USA, such a move would make a lot of sense with a cus­tomer base that is more ac­cus­tomed to elec­tric mo­tor­cy­cles. Mahin­dra’s all- elec­tric scooter GenZe is cur­rently carv­ing a niche for it­self in the green tech­nol­ogy two- wheeler mar­ket, sell­ing for less than $ 3 000 ( R45 734).

Mahin­dra’s GenZe 2.0 — the first con­nected all- elec­tric scooter — was con­ceived in Sil­i­con Val­ley and en­gi­neered/ as­sem­bled in Ann Ar­bor, Michi­gan, as part of Mahin­dra’s global ini­tia­tive to ad­dress the grow­ing prob­lem of trans­porta­tion in crowded cities across the world.

The GenZe2.0 has a re­mov­able lithium- ion bat­tery that can be recharged at any stan­dard elec­tri­cal out­let, pro­vid­ing op­ti­mal free­dom and ease of use.

Its util­i­tar­ian de­sign of­fers am­ple rear stor­age space so peo­ple can get where they want and take their be­long­ings with them.

Be­yond its use as a per­sonal ve­hi­cle, the GenZe 2.0 has also at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion from cities and cor­po­rate cam­puses who are search­ing for first/ last mile so­lu­tions

PHOTO: HONDA

The Honda EV- Cub.

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