Honda unveiled two new versions of their PCX scooter at the Tokyo Motor Show to little fanfare, but between them they could be two of the most important motorcycles ever made.
The first one is the PCX Electric (the white one), which uses an electric motor developed by Honda and is powered by a pair of batteries under the seat. The really clever bit is that the batteries can be removed in seconds and swapped for fully charged ones, so with a steady supply of batteries your range is infinite.
This battery swapping system is incredibly similar to the one currently used by Taiwanese firm Gogoro in their Smart Scooter and they’ve had huge success.Now Honda are onboard, too – and with Vespa primed to release something very similar quite soon, it’s looking like this system has real potential for widespread adoption.
Perhaps even more important still is the PCX Hybrid (the blue one) that Honda also unveiled. As the name suggests, the PCX Hybrid has a hybrid petrol/electric drive – a step many believed impossible due to the packaging constraints on a motorcycle.
Honda have been coy about the details, only saying the “compact hybrid system employs a high-output battery and ACG starter to assist the engine and enables PCX Hybrid to realise a ‘torqueful’ riding performance”. But the technological potential is huge, as not only is there the option for very low emissions bikes with huge ranges, but also the option for focused sportsbikes with hybrid engines. Imagine a Fireblade where the electric motor provides the lowdown torque and the petrol engine takes over for peak power?
Honda have said both of the new PCX models will be on sale in 2018 but only in Asia, which seems like a huge missed opportunity.
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