Honda could be well on its way to making more mass-market scooters that are friendly to the environment. They recently launched the new PCX e:HEV hybrid scooter. But here’s the catch: it is only (at the moment) available for the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM). Units are only built upon order, so there won't be any in showrooms.
Like four-wheeled hybrids, this new hybrid scooter uses its silent electric motor to turn on. It can run from a dead stop to moderate speeds on pure electric power. The same mechanism helps give the scooter a boost in acceleration during the first 4 seconds after the throttle is opened. After the initial 4 seconds of boost, the gas-fed engine will take over 100% of the duties.
The third function of the electric motor, besides starting and giving it a little boost, is to charge up its lithium-ion battery during deceleration and when the scooter reaches its cruising speed. It's a complete cycle as the silent motor takes its power from the scooter’s lithium-ion battery pack.
This technology is hoped to reduce greenhouse gasses emitted by the engine. The emissions are highest during acceleration from a complete stop. This will also help reduce fuel consumption during acceleration since the engine gets a bit of a “push” from another source of power.
Honda claims that the new electric starter motor is capable of producing up to 1.9Ps of power and 4.3Nm torque, improving the torque output by 33%.
The Honda PCX e:HEV is also packed with all the features found in the regular gasoline PCX, such as all-LED lighting, ABS, a fully-digital panel screen, USB type-C charging port, and ride modes. Yes, a 125cc scooter equipped with riding modes.
Ride mode “D” means optimized electric motor assistance, while “S” mode means more aggressive torque output.
For now, this model is JDM-only. In Japan, it retails for JPY448,800 (PHP209,000 taxes and duties not included). The new PCX e:HEV 125 is very unlikely to land on our shores. But, who knows? Maybe in the near future perhaps.