On May 12, 2023, Honda Motor Europe officially introduced the 2023 Honda EM1 e:, its first electric two-wheeler for the European market. The letters EM stand for Electric Moped, because that’s effectively what it is. It’s also the first Honda two-wheeler to make use of the new, swappable Honda Mobile Power Pack e: system (HMPP) for the European market.
If you think back to EICMA 2022, you may recall that’s when Honda first took the wraps off the EM1 e: for a global audience. At the time, full specifications weren’t available for the first electric two-wheeler that Honda planned to launch in Europe. However, if you’ve been following Honda’s electric two- and three-wheeler developments in Japan, you’ll already be familiar with the Honda Mobile Power Pack e:, as well as the Benly e:, Gyro e:, and Gyro Canopy e: that already make use of the HMPP for commercial applications in that market.
The 2023 Honda EM1 e: is powered by a brushless, hub-mounted, 1.7 kilowatt electric motor that directly propels the moped forward. Claimed torque is 90 newton-meters, or 66 pound-feet. Usable range is listed as 41.3 kilometers, or about 25.6 miles. If you switch to Econ mode, usable range extends slightly to 48 kilometers (nearly 30 miles) on a single charge. Top speed is 45 kilometers per hour, or about 27.9 mph.
At this point, it’s important to remember that the 2023 Honda EM1 e: is licensed as a moped, not a superbike. So, if that top speed and those range numbers don’t sound very impressive to you, it’s also important to remember the other significant development that Honda offers with the EM1 e:, the Honda Mobile Power Pack e:. (For reasons of its own, Honda now appends e: to the end of many of its electric vehicle model names, which plays havoc with grammar checkers and brains alike.) It’s Honda’s first attempt at a swappable electric power pack, meant for interchangeable use in multiple Honda consumer items.
That brings us to the next point. Honda Motor Europe plans to try something different with how it offers the 2023 EM1 e: within the European countries where it’s available. Rather than offer direct sales, Honda instead plans to offer lease, rental, and/or subscription schemes for the 2023 EM1 e:, with the exact mode varying by market. When a rider leases, rents, or subscribes to an EM1 e:, they will also get use of the HMPP e: and a charger to keep the battery topped up at home, school, or work.
How long does it take to charge an HMPP e:? Using the supplied charger from Honda and a standard home outlet, Honda says that the pack will charge from zero to 100 percent in approximately six hours. Since most EV users don’t typically run their vehicles down to zero percent before they start recharging, Honda also says that charging from 25 percent to 75 percent of a full charge takes 2.7 hours to complete.
According to Honda’s own internal testing, an HMPP e: can be charged over 2,500 times—but riders won’t have to worry about disposal, since they’ll be renting/leasing/subscribing to the EM1, its batteries, and its chargers anyway. It’s not clear at this point whether Honda Motor Europe has any future plans to offer Power Pack Exchanger e: stations to swap its HMPPs on the go, nor what effect (if any) the EM1 e:’s popularity may have on any decisions regarding bringing that system to Europe.
Gallery: 2023 Honda EM1 e: - Europe
Suspension duties are performed by a 31mm telescopic front fork setup and twin shock absorber with double tube dampers in the rear. No mention is made of any adjustability for any part of this suspension, but that’s not surprising in this segment.
Brakes consist of a 190mm disc and single-piston brake caliper up front, along with a 110mm drum brake in the rear. Both are linked by a Combined Braking System (CBS), similar to what you’ll find on the combustion-powered Honda Navi. Seat height is 740mm, or 29.1 inches. Total vehicle weight is 95 kilograms, or about 209 pounds. The HMPP e: weighs 10.3 kg, or about 22.7 pounds. The Honda charger for the battery pack weighs 5.3 kg, or about 11.7 pounds.
Other features include full LED lighting all around, a USB socket, a 3.3-liter underseat storage area, a small storage cubby on the left side of the fairing, a bag hook, and passenger grab rails. At launch, three color options will be available: Pearl Sunbeam White, Digital Silver Metallic, and Matte Ballistic Black Metallic. Pricing and availability will vary by region within Europe, so your best bet if you’re interested in trying an EM1 e: is to reach out to your local Honda dealer with any questions you may have.