Silent & uncras hable
Honda’s massive technological push kicks off with electric bikes for 2018
NEXT YEAR YOU’LL be able to buy a production Honda that doesn’t drink petrol, won’t require road tax and that you’ll barely hear coming. Yes, they’re going electric. Honda’s president and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, confirmed plans at a recent press bash in Tokyo, Japan. He said two-thirds of the cars they sell will be electrified by 2030, focussing on hybrids using both conventional engines and electric motors, and using a unique plug-in charging system. And convenient, quick-charging technology is coming to two wheels as well. ‘We are working on a highly-convenient system for electric commuters, which feature a detachable mobile battery that is easy to replace and/or recharge,’ said Hachigo. ‘We are planning to introduce some new models including an electric scooter in 2018.’ This is likely to be the EV-CUB, a battery-powered version of the iconic step-thru’ with an electric motor in its rear hub, seen as a concept at the 2015 Tokyo show. (Honda have leased electric scooters called the EV-NEO in Japan since 2011, but it’s now way out of date – the Cub’s leading-edge.) This will certainly lead to larger electric bikes; note he said models, not model. Centring their automotive attention on hybrids links nicely with the Neowing concept, a leaning trike with a large-capacity flat-four engine backed by electric power. Shown at the same Tokyo event as the EV-CUB, the combined power sources and single-sided shaft drive rear are expected to be on the next-generation Goldwing. And Honda aren’t involved with Mugen’s Tt-winning electric racer just for the crack. Expect other futuristic whatnots. Hachigo talked about ‘collisionfree’ cars and how SENSING technology (including parking assistance and a ‘road departure mitigation system’) will now be on all new cars for Japan. They’re developing auto lane-change tech and want fully automated motorway driving by 2020. Two-wheelers are obviously different, using steering for balance as well as cornering, however bikes won’t escape electronic assistance. Honda’s self-balancing ‘Riding Assist’ NC750S was shown earlier this year, showing their desire to make future motorbikes as hard to prang as cars. Silent, super-efficient, self-parking VFR1200F that won’t let you run wide in corners? Won’t be long.
Mugen’s TT racer: a hint at the 2025 Fireblade? EV Cub: the plastic pig for the Jetsons