When it comes to lightweight electric motorcycles and scooters designed to shuttle you around the urban setting, smaller is better. This rings particularly true for densely populated cities in Europe, Asia, and South America. Understanding the potential these markets pose, especially in the field of personal mobility, motorcycle manufacturers are continuously innovating to deliver the ultimate urban runabout.
On August 12, 2021, we talked about the Honda U-GO electric scooter. Designed as a lightweight city commuter, it is by far one of the most affordable electric scooters from a reputable manufacturer at the equivalent of just $1,150 USD. Interestingly, Honda hasn’t stopped there. The Japanese manufacturer has unveiled a smaller, even more personal electric mobility device. Adopting a similar naming convention, the Honda U-BE is smaller, lighter, and more affordable than the U-GO.
The new Honda U-BE electric scooter is characterized by its svelte, futuristic bodywork. Equipped with a single saddle, it’s clear that this scooter has been designed as a personal commuter, as opposed to the U-GO which could carry a passenger. On top of this, the U-BE’s design is a lot simpler, with Honda clearly doing away with refinement such as a handlebar cover, in favor of cost. The U-BE also features a nifty pedal assist feature, which categorizes it as an active mobility device—an important categorization for road-worthiness in certain countries. It also gives you the opportunity to squeeze in a quick little workout on your commute.
On the tech side of things, the U-BE is as barebones as it gets. It’s powered by a 350 W permanent magnet motor, and is capable of propelling itself to a top speed of just 15.5 miles per hour. You could probably bump that up by a slight margin by cranking out at the pedals with all your might. The U-BE gets a basic yet cleanly designed digital instrument panel, and is offered in three versions depending on battery capacity.
The most affordable version gets a 48V-15Ah unit which returns a claimed 55-kilometer range, while the mid-tier variant gets a slightly higher capacity unit at 48V-20Ah, and promises to return 70 kilometers. The top of the line version will give you 80 kilometers of autonomy with its 48V-24Ah lithium-ion battery. As far as pricing is concerned, the U-BE starts at a super affordable price tag of just 406 Euros, or the equivalent of $480 USD. It’s pretty amazing to think that for the price of an entry-level road or mountain bike, you could have yourself a trusty little electric scooter from the world’s most popular motorcycle manufacturer.