Efforts to Promote the Use of Electric Motorcycles
Further promotion of carbon neutrality by expanding into business areas
Honda launched the world's first commercially available electric motorcycle in 1994, and has been the world leader in electric motorcycles ever since. In recent years, Honda has been addressing the issues of electric motorcycles, such as cruising range and charging time, with the "Mobile Power Pack," a replaceable battery, and aims to expand this technology to business-use electric motorcycles by 2021 to further popularize electric motorcycles.
Honda has set the goals of "achieving carbon neutrality by 2050" and " zero fatalities in traffic accidents " and is working to achieve these goals.
We have positioned the electrification of motorcycles as one of our efforts to achieve our goal of becoming carbon neutral. We have been working on electric motorcycles since the development of the CUV-ES, the world's first electric motorcycle that was put on the market in 1994, and in 2018, we announced the PCX ELECTRIC as an electric motorcycle for Japan and other ASEAN countries.
Since there are four challenges to the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles: cruising range, charging time, battery performance, and cost, we have continued to work on solutions to these issues.
The PCX ELECTRIC announced in 2018 showed one way to solve the challenges of electric motorcycles by using the replaceable Honda Mobile Power Pack™ as a power source.
First application of the Honda Mobile Power Pack
Honda Mobile Power Pack
We want to make electric motorcycles with excellent environmental performance more accessible to more customers.
With this in mind, we are developing the Honda e:Business Bike series to provide easy-to-use business bikes that maximize the advantages of EVs to support a variety of business situations.
We are developing the BENLY e: a two-wheeled and compact motorcycle with a high load capacity that enables it to perform a variety of pickup and delivery tasks; the GYRO e: a three-wheeled motorcycle with a large, low-floor cargo bed that does not swing and is suitable for delivering heavy or bulky cargo; and the GYRO CANOPY e: a three-wheeled motorcycle with a roof and a swinging cargo bed that is suitable for lightweight loading and food delivery.
Compared to personal use, where the destination is unspecified, in business use, the Honda Mobile Power Pack can operate on a regular route and distance, and return to the store for recharging and battery replacement, thus maximizing the effectiveness of the Honda Mobile Power Pack, which can replace the power source.
Images of personal and business use
Features of BENLY e:
The BENLY e: is the second electric two-wheeled vehicle powered by the Honda Mobile Power Pack, and was introduced in 2020 as a development of Honda e: TECHNOLOGY. This model was developed based on the concept of a business e:scooter that is just right for daily delivery.
In order to make electric motorcycles with excellent environmental performance more accessible to more customers, we have incorporated a compact EV system into the easy-to-maneuver body size that has been well received in the engine model BENLY series.
The EV-related parts have been designed and arranged to maintain the BENLY's body size and dimensions in consideration of business usability. The upright riding position, the same as that of the BENLY, has been inherited to create a vehicle that is just right for various pickup and delivery tasks.
Dimensions and Riding Position
Features of GYRO e:
The GYRO e: is the third electric two-wheeled vehicle powered by the Honda Mobile Power Pack. In order to expand the range of electric business bikes, the GYRO e: was developed as a business electric three-wheeled scooter following the BENLY e:, inheriting the GYRO UP type with a large low-floor cargo bed.
Based on the concept of "making daily deliveries more convenient and secure with Business e: Three-wheeler" the GYRO UP has been electrified to support a variety of business scenes, making the most of the unique features of the Three-wheeler. A large low-floor cargo bed has been adopted, and the vehicle structure is suitable for loading heavy cargo.
The rear deck structure is parallel to the ground and does not fall down even when swinging, making it easy to carry a lot of cargo inheriting the GYRO UP type. The size of the rear deck is large enough to easily carry a standard case of beer.
The vehicle is equipped with a swing damper that controls the effect on the front side body against unexpected movement of the rear deck section. This minimizes the impact on the rider when carrying cargo, making the vehicle easy to handle even when loaded, and making the body suitable for work involving the delivery of heavy or large items.
The same Neidhart mechanism that connects the front body to the rear two wheels as in the engine model GYRO series is used to achieve a riding experience that is comfortable for motorcycles. We have developed this EV tricycle so that even customers who are new to tricycles can use it without any resistance.
Swing mechanism arrangement
Component layout of the EV system
BENLY e: and GYRO e: share the same EV system.
The PCX-ELECTRIC compact EV system has been installed in the existing engine model with minimal changes required. The mobile power packs are in a two-piece side-by-side arrangement vertical to the vehicle, inheriting the features of the engine models, BENLY and GYRO, including the body size.
EV System Operation Overview
The power source for the EV system is a 96V power system with 48V mobile power packs connected in series per one. The power control unit (PCU) uses sensors to detect the accelerator opening and driving conditions, and drives the motor by converting it to the optimal three-phase AC for the situation.
Vector control is used to control this three-phase AC, and by implementing fine-tuned torque control, it is possible to extend the driving distance per charge.
Backward Travelling Assist
Backward traveling assist is activated by pressing the reverse switch and the starter switch on the handle bar.
Pressing either of the two switches will put the vehicle in "R" ready state, and pressing the two switches simultaneously will start the backward traveling assist. This backward traveling assist allows even small riders to maneuver the vehicle with ease.
Unitization of the Motor
The motor of BENLY e: is designed to be easy to maintain for long-term use as a model for business use. A new aluminum motor case and motor cover are installed to unitize the motor. The motor can be attached to and detached from the vehicle by simply replacing the motor unit, which improves the maintainability of the rotor handling.
The Attachment and Detachment Mechanism of the Honda Mobile Power Pack
The BENLY e: and GYRO e: have the mobile power packs positioned on the left and right side, and their attachment and detachment mechanisms are linked to make it easier to attach and detach two mobile power packs with a single handle operation.
In order to expand our electric vehicle lineup toward the realization of carbon neutrality, we are planning EV models in the FUN area that provide the joy of operation, in addition to EV models equivalent to a motorized bicycle type 1 for personal use.
Also, in the existing ICE* field, we will continue research and development on improving fuel efficiency and carbon-free fuel vehicles.
*ICE (Internal Combustion Engine)