Electric scooter Honda EM1 e: with exchangeable battery in the driving report
For hardly any means of transport is the electric drive better suited than for a scooter. Its radius of action in the city center is manageable, the speeds are well below 50 km/h on average and the noiseless driving is a blessing, especially in the city. After more and more two-wheeler manufacturers are offering electric scooters, the Japanese two-wheeler expert Honda is now following suit and wants to offer an alternative to Vespa, Segway and Nova Motors with the EM1 e.
Compact and light thanks to the wheel hub drive
The design is modern but not extravagant. The 1.86 meter long Honda EM1 e is powered by a brushless wheel hub motor. Its special feature is the removable battery. It makes the EM1 e: particularly interesting for users who do not have a power connection in the garage or who have to park the electric two-wheeler outside anyway.
The lithium battery, which can be easily removed from under the seat in a few simple steps, is light and small. With its (calculated) almost 1.48 kWh, the maximum range of the electric city scooter with its standard consumption of 47 Wh/km is limited to 30 kilometers (according to WMTC class 1), in Eco mode it is 48 kilometers according to the specification. For comparison: the top model Vespa Elettrica without a removable battery has a range of 75 to almost 100 kilometers, depending on the driving mode, and many others easily reach the 80-kilometer mark before the next charging stop.
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The compact Honda drives comfortably, but is limited to a small area with the small battery and long charging time.
Untimely: Six hours charging time
The battery pack should withstand more than 2500 charges without noticeable aging. The 50-volt power pack, weighing just over ten kilograms, can be charged from 25 to 75 percent in 160 minutes in a fan-cooled 270-watt charger. However, the Honda scooter needs 360 minutes for a full charge, which is a full six hours. The much larger battery in the Vespa Elettrica takes less than 240 minutes to go from 0 to 100 percent. The only way to avoid the long charging time of the Honda would be a second battery.
The maximum speed of the e-scooter is the approved 45 km/h, while the clear digital display also shows a few kilometers per hour more depending on your mood. But when turning the handle, the driver quickly feels that the electrically powered Honda EM1 e: accelerates almost noiselessly, but does not have the most powerful electric motor on the rear axle in the competitive environment. The nominal power of the wheel hub drive is 0.58 kW, the short-term maximum power is 1.7 kW. According to the manufacturer, its maximum torque of 90 Nm is sufficient to climb a 10 percent incline with a driver weighing 75 kilograms.
The 12-inch front wheel is sized 90/90-12 and is therefore larger than the rear, whose 10-inch rim carries a 100/90-10 tire. The front wheel rim is made of cast aluminum, the rear rim is an aluminum and steel composite construction. The braking system combines a 190 mm single-piston disc brake at the front with a 110 mm drum brake at the rear. When the rear brake is activated, the compound braking system also distributes the braking force to the front brake caliper to allow even inexperienced riders maximum deceleration with minimum risk of slipping. ABS that is significantly better in this respect is not available.
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The central bag hook, USB port and storage compartment are on the side next to the steering column.
The tuning of the chassis is particularly comfortable, the seat height of 740 mm is not too high and the EM1 e: is lighter than many of its competitors with a curb weight of 95 kilograms. The ergonomics are also right, because the seat, handlebars, displays and running boards are also suitable for tall drivers. A passenger sits sufficiently comfortably for urban distances, but has to make do with footrests. The small luggage for the city can be stored under the foldable bench (3.3 liters), on the luggage rack or on the shelves under the handlebars. Here, the smartphone can be charged via a USB port, for example, or a medium-sized drinking bottle with a volume of 0.5 liters can be safely accommodated. The cockpit shows the essentials, but the contrast of the liquid crystal display is too weak in bright sunlight.
There is no purchase price for the Honda EM1 e, by the way, because it is currently only offered as a leasing/rental model or as part of a monthly subscription. Let’s see if the customers like it or if Honda still has to switch to a sales model.
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