Honda unveils zero-emission electric scooter
Japan's Honda Motor on Tuesday unveiled its latest electric scooter, saying it initially plans to target domestic business customers such as pizza delivery services.
The EV-neo is powered by a lithium-ion battery that matches the performance of a 50cc petrol engine, without the noise, and can travel 30 kilometres (19 miles) on a single charge at up to 30 kilometres per hour.
The battery can be rapid-charged up to 80 percent of capacity in 20 minutes, while a regular power socket charge would take about four hours, said the Japanese auto maker.
Honda promoted the scooter as "quiet and clean and contributing to creating a low-carbon society" as it unveiled a prototype of the two-wheeler at a research facility on the outskirts of Tokyo.
Honda plans to start leasing the scooter to Japanese companies from December, said a spokeswoman, without disclosing the price tag or production targets.
"The distance it can travel may not be satisfactory for personal use, but eventually we want to make it available for individual customers," she said.
No international sales plans were announced for the electric scooter, Honda's second since it released 200 units of an earlier model to Japanese business customers in 1994.
Japan's motor giants have recently emerged as global leaders in low and zero emission cars meant to reduce urban pollution and cut greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
Toyota's Prius hybrid has been the top-selling car domestically for nearly a year, while Nissan is rolling out its Leaf electric car later this year, competing with Mitsubishi Motors' i-MiEV.
(c) 2010 AFP