In the vast realm of last-mile electric micromobility, Honda’s new Motocompacto aims to bridge the divide between scooter lovers and people who prefer to get around riding a carry-on-sized suitcase.
I’m joking, of course, but the new scooter does have the appearance of that, or maybe it looks more like an oversized AirPods case. At 41.3lbs, the Motocompacto is probably on the heavier side for electric scooters, but for suitcases, it may be in the sweet spot. With a top speed of 15mph, a maximum range of 12 miles, and a peak output of 490 watts, the delightfully square-shaped two-wheeler is billed as a first- and last-mile solution “designed for the new realities of urban mobility.”
It’s also designed as an homage to Honda’s gas-powered Motocompo scooters from the 1980s
It’s also designed as an homage to Honda’s gas-powered Motocompo scooters from the 1980s, which were highly foldable but never sold in the US. Not so for the new Motocompacto, which will be available to buy from participating Honda and Acura dealerships this November for the attractive price of $995.
The grips and seat are the color of brown leather (no word on their material), and the integrated LED display looks simplified and easy to read, with two power levels, a speedometer, and battery levels. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect to a “clever phone app” where you can adjust even more settings. It can be fully charged in just 3.5 hours in both the folded and ready-to-ride configuration using a common 110v outlet.
With e-bike and e-scooter sales rising and several states offering subsidies to help defray the cost and get more people out of cars, the need for a bit of Japanese (by way of California and Ohio) design prankishness has never been greater. The Motocompacto is just fun to look at, so who cares if it doesn’t go that fast or travel that far?
Much will depend on the ride quality, but it’s cool to see an automaker like Honda introducing new products that both harken back to the past while also keeping a firm footing in the future.
Honda wants you to ride this goofy thing to and from your transit stop, for example, if you can withstand the curious glances and cocked eyebrows from judgmental (but secretly jealous) teenagers.