Honda could be taking the postie bike concept into the next generation, with a potential deal to sell thousands of electric Benly-E scooters to the Japanese postal service. Or, so says WebBikeWorld.
The story, originating in the Japan Post, is that Japan Post Co is going to purchase 200 of Honda’s electric scooters by the end of March, in order to reduce its burden on the environment—and to evaluate the machine’s potential for broader use.
Supposedly, if the first machines purchased are satisfactory, then the postal company is interested in buying as many as 2,000 of the scooters by the year’s end, and that could just be the start. Postal officials are supposedly interested in replacing as much as 20 percent of its 85,000-strong scooter fleet with battery bikes.
That’d be a huge order for Honda, and a huge step forward for electric scooters. Originally, Honda said it only planned to build 200 Benly-E scooters a year, but obviously those plans may change soon.
So what’s the Benly-E? It’s an adaptation of an existing Honda scooter design, with an electric motor and quick-swap battery design. There are four sub-models, all using the Honda Mobile Power Pack. Some use a dual-battery setup for an 86-km range, others use a single battery for a 43-km range.
When Honda announced this scooter, it also announced plans for a battery quick-swap network, although the postal service may prefer to have its own stockpile of batteries (that would make sense). Either way, if thousands of these step-throughs start delivering the mail in Japan, we may see the dawn of a great new postie bike—maybe not as rugged as the CT110-based machines, but more environmentally friendly?