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If the battery in your remote dies, you swap it out. But that type of battery standardization never existed for electric vehicles. That is until the Honda electric scooter debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The swappable power packs stole the show.
Is this feature the game changer needed to infuse life into the US electric scooter market where growth is weak, due to slow adoption?
After it’s debut at CES, Honda moved the PCX Electric right into production. Recently, Honda released 250 PCX Electric scooters for lease in Japan. By leasing the bikes, Honda can measure the demand and usability of its electric scooters for both business and personal use.
Will This Be the Year a Honda Electric Scooter Hits the Streets in the States?
Motorcycle News calls the PCX Honda electric scooter, one of the most important bikes ever invented. But for now, the PCX Electric is only available in Japan.
Sources report that after local testing, the Honda electric scooter will be available in the regional Asia market. From there, the PCX Electric will hit the global market. However, it will most likely be after 2019.
For this review, we gathered data from a variety of sources including Honda and important third-party review sites like Engadget. As a convenient tool, we used Amazon to compare alternatives to the Honda electric scooter.
Specifications and features: Honda electric scooter
|Dimensions||77 inches by 29 inches by 43 inches|
|Min. ground clearance||5.2 inches|
|Seat height||30 inches|
|Curb weight||317 pounds|
|Min. turning radius||Seven feet|
|Max. output||4500 Watts /5500 revolutions per minute|
|Max. torque||11 foot-pounds /500 revolutions per minute|
|Main battery voltage||50.4 volts|
|Battery charger||AC100V single-phase|
|Tires||Front-100/80-14M/C 48P Rear-120/70-14M/C 55P|
|Brakes||Front-Hydraulic disc Rear-Mechanical leading/trailing|
(Table created by author using statistics from source)
Battery pack and EV system
The PCX Electric has a pair of batteries conveniently tucked under the seat. The battery pack design works for maximum portability. And the system is similar to batteries used in the Taiwan Gogoro Smart Scooter.
The Gogoro GoStation battery packs use charging stations located throughout urban areas where riders swap their depleted packs for fully-charged batteries. This feature ensures that riders get back out on the road without long charging delays.
Even if you don’t take advantage of the battery swapping feature of the PCX Electric, you can still get back out on the road pretty quickly by using the charging system. It only takes four to six hours to charge two batteries. And charging can be done by connecting the scooter’s battery packs directly to a power source
It can also be done by removing the battery packs and charging them with an AC adapter. Charging time varies according to the condition of the power packs, the recharging environment, and the shape of the PCX Electric.
And that’s not all:
Honda’s high-output motor uses an IPM structure for better energy efficiency at low revs on take-off. Maximum motor output ensures a smoother riding performance. It reportedly climbs hills with ease. There is no plumbing for the oil-pump, radiator, and clutch assembly which saves space.
PCX Electric styling
The Honda electric scooter shares the same design as the PCX Hybrid and the traditional combustion Honda PCX 150. However, the all-electric version puts more emphasis on the EV components.
Differences in styling include additional compartments to ensure rider safety. That consists of a fortified rear fender that wraps around the motor. The design result is clean and modern. The white color scheme features blue and black accents for a sophisticated yet sporty look.
Honda kept the PCX’s overall length unchanged allowing room for a comfortable ride. Plus, the low-vibration EV unit also contributes to a smoother ride.
The PCX Electric’s style features LED lights and the brand’s signature PCX headlight. The rear-hugger fender feature adds to the Honda electric scooter’s unique look. On top of all that, a well-appointed instrument panel includes all necessary system gauges including a speedometer, clock, mobile charging, and primary power indicator.
Honda PCX Electric reviews and pricing
Due to the limited release, there are no first-hand customer reviews available online. As well, there is no pricing information.
The PCX Hybrid
In 2017, Honda revealed the PCX Hybrid. The electric-assisted system uses the brand’s high-output battery and the ACG starter to enable a powerful riding experience.
The technological potential is significant from an emissions perspective and in general for promoting hybrid sports bikes. The PCX Hybrid went on sale in late 2018, but only in Asia. However, some reports conclude that Honda will have the hybrids ready for sale in the United States by 2019.
Currently, Honda PCX Hybrid costs between RM13,400 and RM13,500 which equates to $3,100 to $3,300 in U.S. dollars.
Some critics believe the hybrid is too pricey for adoption into the U.S. market. According to one calculation, you’d need to put over 170,000 miles on the Honda PCX Hybrid to recoup the money spent.
Top 3 Alternatives to the Honda Electric Scooter
When you consider that most of the world is trying to get by on a few dollars a day, the need for street-legal electric scooters becomes very evident.
Fortunately, there are many prospects to choose from. For this review, we picked three scooters comparable to the Honda electric scooter in various ways.
1. Ford OjO Scooter
The OjO’s sturdy chassis — crafted from billet aluminum — features a headlight, taillight, horn, and front and rear disc-type brakes. Also, each component is waterproof making the OjO an all-weather scooter.
Motorcycle grade tires improve the ride, stability, and grip. Finally, the 500 Watt motor effortlessly propels the bike to reach its top speed of around 20 mph. Also, the scooter will travel 25 miles on one charge.
There are three driving modes to get you where you want to go. In Sports Mode, you’ll get peak performance. Touring mode is the best setting for new riders. And Eco mode maximizes the scooter’s range between charging.
The OjO also has essential features like an onboard charger with a retractable cord. The dual Bluetooth speakers are waterproof and ensure your entertainment while zipping around town. Want a stand-up scooter? Take the seat off with no problem.
Pros of the Ford OjO
- The design is an obvious highlight
- This street legal mini only seats one but does so in style
- The brightly-hued OjO fits outside of the box and stands out for its vintage European aesthetic
- The OjO’s removable seat is a nice touch, coupled with the frame design which outputs an amazingly comfortable and fun ride
- The Ford logo is impressive to see on a scooter
Cons of the Ford OjO
- This scooter doesn’t fold up and isn’t easy to transport
- The OjO isn’t compact enough to take on public transport
- Users complain about the lack of foot room
Reviews and pricing
The Ford OjO scooter costs between $2,300 and $2,400. There aren’t many of these for sell on Amazon and only a few reviews. It is rated 5.0 out of 5 stars. Customers love this scooter for its power and ability to power up hills.
2. Razor EcoSmart Metro Electric Scooter
Technically, the Razor is street-legal in parts of Florida. The 500 Watt motorized scooter has top speeds of around 15 miles per hour. And it will go as far as 35 miles on a single charge.
Also, because of its classification, the Razor is legal to operate without a license and insurance in most states. This scooter is made for one or two riders and features a fold-out peg for passengers to use.
Since the frame is constructed using steel and the batteries are lead-based, the scooter is heavy. It weighs 148 pounds. However, the motor is powerful and make up for the added weight.
The scooter’s well-designed suspension contributes to the smooth ride. Speed is controlled with a twist and go throttle. The Razor has street-legal headlights, taillights, and turn indicators, and the fenders and mirrors are rubberized and sturdy.
Pros for the Razor EcoSmart Metro
- The range on a single charge is realistic for most local commutes
- The scooter has a fast charge time
- The seat is comfortable
- The bamboo deck is an impressive design touch
Cons for the Razor EcoSmart Metro
- The unit’s power switch and charging port is located low on the frame and are difficult to reach
- The battery level indicator is difficult to read and possibly inaccurate
- There is no anti-theft or locking mechanism
- There are no front brakes
Reviews and pricing
The Razor Metro rates 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Impressively, it has 62 percent 5-star reviews. Customers love that the scooter is convenient to take on trips and also to drive around their neighborhoods.
One customer gave the bike a 5-star review after using it for over a year. She reports that it has been well worth her investment. The Razor EcoSmart costs between $300 and $400, making it the least expensive street-legal electric scooter on the market.
3. ANCHEER AN-EB005 dolphin electric bike
The great thing about the ANCHEER is its lightweight and foldable frame. It only weighs 26.5 pounds, so it’s easy to take anywhere and stores perfectly.
This cute dolphin design carries a 350-watt motor that can go 20 to 25 kilometers per hour (about 15mph) and reaches a full charge in just 3 hours. Plus, it has cruise control and a 36V 6Ah battery with a range of 20 kilometers (about 12.4 miles).
That means it’s perfect for your commute.
Not only that, it has a Bluetooth system and an app, so you can remotely lock the motor to keep it safe. It also records your mileage and time, so you never get stuck anywhere you don’t want to be.
ANCHEER is so confident in their design, the e-bike comes with a one-year warranty on the motor, battery, and charger.
Pros of ANCHEER AN-EB005 dolphin electric bike
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Completely foldable
- Quick charge time
- Cruise control
- Bluetooth system
- One-year warranty
- Stylish dolphin design
- Waterproof with double layer aluminum alloy frame
- Maximum weight limit of 265 pounds
Cons of ANCHEER AN-EB005 dolphin electric bike
- Smaller motor
- Not as fast
Reviews and pricing
Amazon customers love this scooter, giving it 4.4 out of 5 stars. You’ll pay between $400 and $500 to own this beauty.
Honda Electric Scooter: What We Know so Far
Theoretically, the Honda PCX Electric offers a way to commute short distances using an eco-friendly motor. In Japan, there are a limited number of these e-scooters available for rent.
Unfortunately, information about the Honda electric scooter is hard to come by. Here are a few of the other pros and cons.
- It’s street legal
- It has a swappable battery pack
- It has standardized batteries
- Comes with AC charging adapter
- Has the familiar Honda PCX styling
- Is part of a dependable Honda line-up of scooters
- It’s both economical and eco-friendly
- It’s only available in Japan
- There are no reviews available
- There is no pricing information available
Honda Electric Scooter Wrap-Up
The hype surrounding Honda PCX Electric following the CES in 2018 created massive interest in the electric scooter. Primarily, the focus centered on the potential of standardizing batteries for use in electric vehicles.
Clearly, there is considerable interest in this type of technology. Swappable battery packs decrease the time needed for charging. It’s also intriguing since there is similar technology in place by a Taiwanese scooter company.
Although production began in 2017 on the PCX Electric, there is no data available regarding the usage. Honestly, there is no way to know if Honda’s limited run of electric scooters in Tokyo is successful. However, it’s easy to imagine that this cutting-edge technology could be for electric vehicles what battery packs were for portable power tools.
Are you interested in owning an electric scooter? Which one would you like to own? Tell us about it in the comments!