Honda to lease electric scooters

WAKO, Japan, – April 14, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Honda Motor Company (NYSE: HMC) is jumping into the electric scooter business.

This week the company displayed its all-electric, zero emission, EV-Neo scooter in Tokyo, Japan.  The EV-Neo is the equivalent of a 50cc gasoline-powered motorcycle, and has driving range of 19 miles (30 kilometers) in one charge.

The scooter can be fully charged in four hours when plugged into an ordinary house outlet.  However, the vehicle can be recharged in 20 minutes when connected to a special charging device.

Honda is planning to begin leasing the scooter domestically in Japan in December.  Plans to lease the electric scooter overseas have yet to be determined.

The company says the EV-Neo represents an opportunity for it to enter the electric vehicle market — a market Honda has not pursued as aggressively as its competitors such as Nissan and Mitsubishi.

When the EV-Neo is released, it will be marketed to companies that make deliveries such as newspapers, couriers, and pizzerias.  The leasing price for the EV-Neo will be between US$6,000 and US$8,000.

Honda is premier brand in the motorcycle business, which is one of the reasons the company choose to develop an electric scooter.  “The motorcycle is a more nimble business, and it allows us to try out more things,” said Honda General Manager Toshiuki Inuma.

Read the full story at CNBC:  Honda to lease electric scooters from December