The “Benly Electric” commercial compact electric scooter from Honda

Honda is rushing to develop electric two-wheeled vehicles. The company showed a prototype of the “Benly Electric” commercial compact electric scooter.

The scooter is currently being developed by Honda. With a “replaceable” battery pack for driving the vehicle, it can drastically reduce the time it takes to charge the battery, which is a problem of EVs.

The Benly Electric is an electric version of the “Benly” gasoline-powered scooter, which Honda has already released. The displacement of the Benly is 50 or 110cc.

There has already been an electric scooter equivalent to a motorbike with a displacement of about 50cc. But it takes about three hours to charge its battery when a residential 100V power source is used, making it difficult to use it for commercial purposes, for which operation rate is important.

2kWh total battery capacity

Honda plans to solve the problem of charging time by applying its technologies of replaceable battery. For example, when the scooter comes back to the base after delivering packages, the battery packs are quickly replaced with charged ones so that the scooter can restart in no time.

If the scooter is used for delivery with a fixed route and travel distance, it is possible to minimize the capacity of battery packs, enabling to easily reduce the vehicle weight including battery packs.

Honda is expected to equip the Benly Electric with the “Mobile Power Pack” lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack (capacity: about 1kWh).

“We are planning to put two units in the space under the seat,” the company said.

So, Honda plans to use 2kWh of batteries. The drive range of the scooter is expected to be 50km (approx 31 miles) or longer.

The battery pack uses Panasonic Corp’s cylindrical cells. The mass of the battery pack is about 10kg. It measures 145 (L) x 170 (W) x 300mm (H) (measured values).

In November 2018, Honda started to lease the “PCX Electric” equipped with the battery pack for businesses and public offices. It also comes with two battery packs located under the seat. Its drive range is 41km.

The “PCX,” on which the PCX Electric is based, is a motorbike with a displacement of about 125cc and larger than Benly. Because the PCX is used for daily short travels, it is necessary to have a luggage space under the seat.

On the other hand, the electric version of the PCX cannot have a space for a helmet, lowering convenience. And Honda considers that the creation of a luggage space is necessary.

The Benly Electric also has battery packs under the seat. But a basket and a box can be attached to the front and rear parts, respectively, for delivery.