Honda releases Motocompacto – a folding electric scooter the size of …
- The Honda Motocompacto is the successor to the Motocompo of the early 1980s
- At 40lbs, the folding scooter can be stored in a car and taken on public transport
- The scooter has an MSRP of $975 and is meant to available via Honda dealers
Honda has officially released its latest electric vehicle - the Motocompacto - but is struggling to keep up with demand, dealers say.
The eccentric and quintessentially Japanese-looking scooter unfolds from a SIM card-shaped box which is about the size of a brief case. Once unfurled it offers a padded seat and foot pegs, allowing it to be ridden like a moped.
The Motocompacto is designed for 'last mile' transport and is marketed by Honda to serve as a companion to its upcoming line of electric cars, the first of which are coming to the market in 2024.
But with a stated retail price of just $975, Honda's network of car dealers appear overwhelmed by strong demand across the country.
Although they were meant to be available from the beginning of November, dealers say they now aren't expected for another few weeks.
The new Honda Motocompacto (pictured) unfolds from a SIM card-shaped box which is about the size of a brief case
The folding scooter has a removable seat which can be stowed in the square body, handlebars that fold inwards and a rear wheel that extends and retracts
Honda claims the Motocompacto's 250-Watt motor will take it to a top speed of 15 miles per hour in seven seconds - and that it can travel 12 miles on a single charge. It can be fully charged in around three-and-a-half hours.
The folding scooter has a removable seat which can be stowed in the square body, handlebars that fold inwards and a rear wheel that extends and retracts.
Its front wheel is powered by a throttle on the right handlebar. Meanwhile its back - and only - brake is located on the left handlebar. A small ring on the bottom of the kickstand can be used to lock it up on the streets.
The Motocompacto is a throwback to Honda's Motocompo - a small folding scooter launched in the early 1980s. Exclusively sold in Japan, it too was designed to fit in the trunk of a car - the Honda City.
But unlike the Motocompacto which has an electric motor, the Motocompo was powered by a 49cc two-stroke engine. And while many of its parts also folded, it was significantly wider than its successor.
The Motocompacto is a throwback to Honda's Motocompo - a small folding scooter launched in the early 1980s (pictured). Unlike the Motocompacto it was powered by a small gas engine
The Motocompo (left) from the early 1980s was designed to fit in the Honda City (right)
In a new Facebook group dedicated to the Motocompacto's fast-growing cult following, many people complained dealers were marking up their prices to as high as $1,950.
A salesperson at a Honda dealership in Oklahoma told DailyMail.com they had received a rush of interest and that Honda seemingly was not prepared for the demand.
'It's kind of been a mess,' he said, noting that his dealership had pre-sold six and was expecting the first five to come in on November 28.
The parts department of one Honda dealership in New Jersey said they were selling the Motocompacto for $1,329 plus tax and they were also expecting a first batch at the end of November.
Another dealer in New Jersey said Honda told them they could expect a batch to arrive in mid-December, but they didn't have information about pricing yet.Consumer FinanceE-scooters