For those who need to zip around city centers, college campuses or sleepy neighborhood streets, Honda has unveiled the Motocompacto, a modern all-electric take on early ’80s Honda Motocompo, and priced at $995.
Boasting a top speed of 15 mph, the battery-electric Motocompacto has a range of 12 miles according to Honda, and can be fully charged in just 3.5 hours using a common 110-volt plug with a charger that stows onboard.
And like the Motocompo, the Motocompacto folds, becoming its own carrying case. Weighing 41 pounds, it’s 3.7 inches wide, 21.1 inches high and 29.2 inches long when folded, and has a handle to carry it.
Honda engineers in Ohio and California created the Motocompacto, which has 32 patents and boasts its own corporate website.
“Motocompacto is easy to use and fun to ride, but was also designed with safety, durability, and security in mind,” said Nick Ziraldo, project lead and design engineering unit leader at Honda Development and Manufacturing of America. “It uses a robust heat-treated aluminum frame and wheels, bright LED headlight and taillight, side reflectors, and a welded steel lock loop on the kickstand that is compatible with most bike locks.”
With a 490-watt front motor, Honda states that the Motocompacto’s will run from 0-15 mph in 7 seconds, and has a weight capacity of 265 pounds.
The pedalless scooter features foot pegs, a digital speedometer, a charge gauge and on-board storage. A smartphone app allows you to adjust the scooter’s settings and drive modes using Bluetooth.
The Motocompacto’s sleek design is a sophisticated — and cheeky — departure from typical e-scooters, which typically suffer from a distinct lack of imagination. Initially offered in white with a tan seat and handlebars, its slab sides make the perfect canvas for personalization. Honda plans to offer any number of accessories, including helmet, backpack, apparel and more.
Of course, Honda’s engineers only had to look in the corporate archive for inspiration, where they found the Motocompo, a foldable scooter built from 1981 to 1983, and powered by a 2.5-horsepower two-stroke engine — unusual for any Honda two-wheeler. Designed to fit in the trunk of a Honda City, it weighed 90 pounds, so even though it measured 29.2 inches long, 21.1 inches tall, and a measly 3.7 inches wide when folded, it was not exactly portable, unless you were a bodybuilder.
So its successor seems a much better solution for its intended market. The Motocompacto goes on sale in November at Acura and Honda dealers.