Back in early September, Honda made headlines when it announced plans to release a total of 10 electric two-wheeler models by 2025. Now, as we’ve pointed out, although Honda has yet to release an electric motorcycle, it’s steadily been working on electric scooter and three-wheeled, low-speed delivery vehicle releases. If Honda is counting these toward that 10-vehicle total, that math doesn’t seem so sudden at all.
Over at the World Intellectual Property Office, we have another potential clue about Honda’s electric future. On July 22, 2022, Honda registered the trademark EM le: (colon included in that trademark designation) in multiple regions, including Australia, China, the European Union, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Turkey, and Viet Nam.
Now, people who rely on Honda generators may note that Honda already has an EM generator series that interested parties can buy right now. How do we know this new trademark doesn’t refer to something related to that series?
That’s an easy question to answer. Within the official trademark registration document, we have one very simple explanation of what EM le: will relate to, if and when Honda chooses to use it. Under the heading International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification) - NCL (11-2022), we find the following text:
“12. Electric motorcycles, electric two-wheeled motor vehicles and their parts and fittings; motorcycles, two-wheeled motor vehicles and their parts and fittings.”
Honda applied for this trademark on June 28, 2022, with the Japan Patent Office. It was officially registered and listed as of July 22, 2022, and is expected to expire and/or be in need of renewal on July 22, 2032.
So, we have confirmation within this document that EM le: will relate to electric two-wheelers—but beyond that, we don’t have a lot to go on just yet. Honda’s previously introduced electric commercial two- and three-wheelers, the Benly e:, Gyro e:, and Gyro Canopy e: all make use of “e:” to denote the fact that they’re electric versions of previously-existing combustion-powered Honda vehicles. Thus, we know that Honda likes to use this “e:” at the end of its electric models—at least, for the time being.
What about the fact that it’s now “le:” instead of just “e:,” though? Could that stand for “light electric,” perhaps? If these are meant to be low-speed, urban mobility-oriented vehicles—which Honda has already stated are part of its near-term electrification plans—then that seems pretty reasonable. However, we must caution that it’s all speculation at this point.
In any case, we’ll look forward to unraveling the mysteries of the Honda EM le: at some point in the future—and hopefully one that’s not too far off.