Honda begins selling its silly little briefcase electric scooter in the US

A few months ago, we covered Honda’s unveiling of its smallest electric vehicle, the Motocompacto. The company has finally opened the order books on its little electric scooter, meaning you could own a new Honda EV for under $1,000.

Officially priced at $995, the Motocompacto is a modern-day homage to the classic Honda Motocompo motorcycle from the early 1980s.

The original 1983 Honda Motocompo was a pint-sized gasoline-powered motorcycle designed to fit in the trunk of a small car and give drivers a way to extend their reach into a city.

If you think keeping an oil-leaking motorcycle with a burning-hot tailpipe inside your hatchback is a recipe for disaster, then you’re absolutely right. That’s why Honda updated the Motocompacto as an all-electric vehicle.

And if you’re an Electrek reader, this news probably won’t come as a complete surprise. We covered Honda’s trademarking of the Motocompacto name last year and surmised that this was the likely outcome.

As interesting as an Oragami-style electric scooter is, don’t expect peak performance from the Honda Motocompacto. The small folding scooter has an equally small powertrain. The front wheel motor measures 490W and the top speed is a mere 15 mph (25 km/h).

The battery is listed as “6.8Ah,” though it’s impossible to determine the actual battery capacity without any info on the system voltage. A 24V or 36V battery would mean a measly capacity of just 163 or 245 Wh, respectively. Though this is intended to be a last-mile vehicle, so the “up to 12 miles” range is definitely within the tiny scooter’s design scope.

A 110V charger is said to recharge that battery in 3.5 hours and there’s even room to store the charger on board, just in case you want to recharge in the office under your desk.

As Honda described it, “Motocompacto is perfect for getting around cityscapes and college campuses. It was designed with rider comfort and convenience in mind with a cushy seat, secure grip foot pegs, on-board storage, a digital speedometer, a charge gauge, and a comfortable carry handle. A clever phone app enables riders to adjust their personal settings, including lighting and ride modes, via Bluetooth.”

Honda Motocompacto orders open

Orders opened for the Motocompacto today, with riders given three options. They can either order online, or visit a local Honda or Acura dealer to buy it in person.

For those ordering from the comfort of their computer chair (or bathroom), keep in mind that you’ll have to select a local Honda or Acura dealer to place the online order through, though it’s pretty easy to do it directly from Honda’s site. You can choose home delivery or an in-person pickup at the dealership while placing the order online.

You should also note that the US $995 price might not stick. There will likely be added taxes to toss on, and you may have local dealer fees. Checking the price for the dealer closest to my family in Florida, it looks like the sticker shock amounts to US $1,243. If I select a dealership a few miles down the road, it drops to US $1,044. Opting for a dealer in Los Angeles nets me the sweet US $995 price, though that’d be quite a road trip on the way back.

Electrek’s Take

It’s a silly thing, but I kind of love it. The fact that wheels, seat, and handlebars fold in is an excellent design that makes it easy to stash somewhere. You slide it in the back of a closet, under a bed, or even in a car trunk.

Yea, it’s a bit pricey for the performance, but you’re largely paying for the engineering and the Honda badge. Plus, I’m guessing you could roll back into your local Honda dealer if you ever needed service. They might look at you strangely, but it’s still a Honda after all.

And you know what they say, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.”

Oh, and why yes, I did buy one this morning. How did you know? Is it because I have a reputation to keep up? Stay tuned to hear what I think of this fun-looking little runabout.

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