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Pedal Power for Honda

Remember when mopeds had pedals? If Honda has its way, they’ll come back, and its latest plans for an electric moped do feature pedal assistance. Reported in MCN and spotted in the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the new ‘pedal-ped’ looks like the first fruit of the ten new electric two-wheelers which Honda announced in September – three of those will be bigger machines but five are aimed at the commuter market, to be launched between now and 2024.

The pedals are clearly there for ‘pedal-assist’ only, to help moving off from rest or hill climbing, as the new machine has a footboard on which to rest the feet when not pedalling. That makes Honda’s moped different from an electric bicycle, which needs continuous pedalling and has a powered speed limit of 15.5mph. With bodywork, registration plate mounting and more substantial dimensions than one of those, it looks like the Honda will fit into the existing moped category, with a 28mph top speed.

Honda already has a suitable battery, the Mobile Power Pack, a standardised unit which can be removed for swapping or charging, and it’s likely the pedal-ped would use a single 48-volt unit, plus the rider’s legs of course. So, for those with long enough memories it’s back to mopeds of the ‘70s, though this time without the sheer speed of a Yamaha FS1E.

“I remember having a similar device, with a scooter style 3-speed rotating gear shift/clutch lever, circa 1974, nobody ever used the pedals, except as somewhere to plonk their feet. Honda’s acceptance of that makes a lot of sense. I can also say that not having to change fouled spark plugs, on a regular basis, is definitely a bonus, or not mixing two-stroke oil in the fuel, either.” said Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF.

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Ride Apart