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Honda EM1 e debuts swappable battery tech in Europe

Updated: May 30, 2023

It’s been some time since we last heard of the long-awaited Japanese electric bikes with swappable battery tech, but finally the first has finally broken cover in the form of Honda’s EM1 e.

Rather than court the already well-catered-for high-performance ev market, Honda has gone back to its roots with a more commuter-friendly and practical machine.

While the estimated range of 41.3km and top speed is 45.0km/h Honda isn’t going to blow any minds, the fact the EM1 e utilises Honda’s Mobile Power Pack e (MPPe) is the special trick of this bike.

The EM1 e is Honda’s first two-wheeled electric vehicle for customers in Europe, following the announcement in September 2022 of the company’s plans to introduce 10 or more electric two-wheelers globally by 2025.

The EM in the name stands for Electric Moped and Honda says it is aimed squarely at a younger demographic who, in their words, are “looking for easy, fun, emission-free urban transport.”

Charge time is around 6 hours from flat, with from 25% to 75% taking only 2.7 hours (160 minutes). the Mobile Power Pack e weighing around 10 kilos when it is removed from the bike, while the MPPe-specific charger weighs half that at 5.3 kilos.

As for battery life, Honda says the MPPe can be charged over 2500 times from their internal testing.

When it comes to other tech specs, the EM1 e is compact as a moped should be, measuring just 1,860mm in length with a very manageable 740mm seat height. Ground clearance is a healthy 135mm and “maintenance” weight - that’s e-bike for wet weight - is just 95kg including battery.

The frame is of a steel underbone design, with 31mm telescopic forks matched to twin rear shock absorbers equipped with double tube dampers handling suspension duty. Rake and trail are set at 27°/77mm against wheelbase of 1,300mm.

Tyres are sized 90/90-12 front and 100/90-10 rear. The front wheel is cast aluminium, while the rear has an aluminium/steel composite design. The brakes are a combo of old-school and new with a 190mm disc and single-piston caliper up the front and 110mm drum rear. There are linked by Combined Brake System (CBS) for smooth stopping control. When the rear brake is activated, CBS distributes braking power to the front caliper.

Sadly for us, it appears that the EM1 e is currently slated to be a Euro-only model for the time being. Local Honda motorcycle distributors, Blue Wing Honda, have confirmed they are awaiting more information regarding availability potential for our market, but don't expect to see the EM1 e in your local Honda dealer anytime soon.


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