Honda's electric scooter prepares for European debut

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Honda is to debut its all-electric scooter in Barcelona from next month, it announced June 15.

The Japanese automaker said that its battery-electric EV-neo scooter will be trialled by Barcelona City Council for a year, the first time the EV-neo has ever been used on the continent.

Sales of the EV-neo began in Japan in April, priced at 454,650 yen (around €4,000), with Honda expecting to sell around 1000 this year, although it's not clear when the vehicle will go on sale to the public in other regions.

A total of 18 of the models will be in use in Barcelona, with Honda describing the move as "a significant development in its EV European activities."

Although electric scooters are nothing new, they are being increasingly adopted by mainstream automakers keen to experiment with battery-electric technology - alongside Honda, both Smart and BMW have produced concept electric scooters over the past year.

Daimler-owned Smart also confirmed recently that it plans to bring an electric bike to market next year, based on the bike concept it showed alongside the escooter at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

Honda's EV-neo has a range of around 34 kilometers, assuming a speed of 30km/h, and can be recharged in 3.5 hours using a standard charger or in half an hour using a rapid charger.

First launched at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2009, the model offers "performance equivalent to that of mass-market under-50cc gasoline engine motorcycles" thanks to its high-torque motor.

http://world.honda.com/ElectricScooters/

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