Skip to main content

One of the biggest struggles automakers currently face in producing electric vehicles is weight. Simply put, the batteries required to keep EVs on the move add a significant amount of weight to any model, and that can present various performance issues. However, an electric drivetrain doesn’t necessarily guarantee the product’s placement into the heavyweight class. Honda’s newest “EV” showcases just that.

Honda’s new electric scooter is an EV featherweight


Is It Safe to Ride an Electric Scooter in the Winter?

Honda’s Motocompacto is the company’s latest venture into personal mobility—an all-electric scooter. But it features a far-from-typical design and, though it’s all-electric, weighs in at just 41.3 pounds.

The Motocompacto could be confused for a modern-styled briefcase, but pull a few levers, and a seat, handlebars, foot pegs, and wheels transform the “box” into an ultra-compact scooter. The Motocompacto delivers a range of up to 12 miles with a max speed of 15 mph.

Honda says the on-board and stowable 110V charger can fully re-juice the unique scooter in 3.5 hours. When the journey is finished, the riding bits fold away, transforming the Motocompacto into its own carrying case that’s 29 inches in length and 21 inches wide.

Features include a digital speedometer, charge gauge, and carry handle. A phone app can also be used to adjust personal settings like ride modes and lighting via Bluetooth. An LED headlight and taillight, plus side deflectors and a wheel lock compatible with “most bike locks” is also fitted.

Sales of the Motocompacto are set to begin in November with an MSRP of $995. Buyers who are all-in on the unique form of personal mobility can also purchase accessories like a branded Motocompacto helmet or backpack.

Though unique, the Motocompacto isn’t Honda’s first foldable scooter. Honda debuted the Motocompo in the early ’80s that, like its successor, featured a foldable handlebar and seat. The main difference between the original and its new iteration is the Motocompo was powered by a 2.5-horsepower gasoline engine. It weighed over 90 pounds, making the new electric version significantly more convenient for carrying around.

Who is this unique EV for?

Honda describes the Motocompacto as a “first and last mile” solution for zero-emissions urban mobility. Effectively then, the Motocompacto could be a relatively convenient means to eliminate an otherwise necessary walk to and from public transportation, or even as a way to “power” its rider from a far-off parking space to their urban destination.

Honda also says the Motocompacto could be a solution for getting around college campuses, and those who happen to live within a few miles of their workplace could feasibly use the scooter as a commuter.

It also stands to reason those who live in built-up areas could use the Motocompacto to venture out for a night on the town, provided they don’t need to bring a lot of stuff and don’t mind carrying around a 41-pound “briefcase.”

It’s safe to assume Motocompacto buyers will still need to rely on public transportation or have their a car for most needs, but those who want the convenience of a relatively affordable means of zero-emissions travel for short journeys could certainly find plenty of appeal with Honda’s new lightweight EV.