Honda’s landed a major order of its electric scooters, with the Japanese postal system saying it plans to potentially buy more than 2,000 of them for urban delivery.
According to WebBikeWorld, which got it from Japan Times, the postal authorities are placing an order for 200 of the scooters by the end of March, and if those work out well, there will be at least another 2,000 ordered by end of 2020.
Japan Times says the postal is looking at the Honda Benly-E scooter, which we’ve touched on before here at CMG. The Bently uses a quick-swap battery system. Although its range is limited to 86 km or 43 km, depending which version you buy, the battery can be changed out for a freshly-charged unit in short order. This means the machine makes good sense for an organization with shorter excursions and constant returns to home base—say, an urban-based delivery outfit.
With Honda’s plan to run its own chain of quick-swap battery stations, it’s possible the posties won’t even change batteries out at a central depot, but will use Honda’s infrastructure.
Supposedly, the postal service has around 86,000 scooters in use in Japan, and hopes to have as many as 20 per cent of those machines’ roles filled by battery bikes. Considering Honda only planned to build 200 Benly-E scooters a year at first (or so the story went), this could be a big change for Big Red’s plans.