By Wasamon Audjarint
AP Honda has sought cooperation with Thai authorities in a move to market the PCX Electric, Honda Motor’s latest electrically powered motorcycle, in the Kingdom and is set to announce updates this January.
While Thailand, already a manufacturing hub, has potential to produce PCX Electric, their sales would need to be permitted by not-yet-existing regulations on electrical safety in Thailand, said AP Honda president Yoichi Mizutani.
Honda and related entrepreneurs are proposing that Thailand adopt UNR 136, an international standard on electricvehicle safety – which includes guidelines from prevention of electric leaking to battery recycling – as well as develop supportive infrastructures, Mizutani said.
This is also to keep up with Honda’s plan to sell PCX Electric globally by next year, he said. Honda Motor chief officer of motorcycle operations Noriaki Abe, Honda Motor President and CEO Takahiro Hachigo and AP Honda President Yoichi Mizutani during a press briefing
Noriaki Abe, Honda Motor chief officer of motorcycle operations, admitted that electric motorcycles are likely to face challenges, such as relatively higher prices, performance levels in comparison with petrolrun engines, and lack of supportive infrastructure in several Asian countries where Honda is working to introduce the PCX.
For this year, AP Honda has already reached its goal of selling 1.47 million domestic motorcycles, accounting for 79 per cent of market share. Its production toll, for both internal and external markets, is 1.85 million units, or around an increase of 4 per cent year-on-year.
The PCX Electric was unveiled at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017 last Wednesday, together with the technologically-advanced PCX Hybrid and Riding Assist-e.
Honda Motor President and CEO Takahiro Hachigo said that the two-battery, eco-friendly PCX Electric is a part of Honda’s goal to increase production of electrified vehicles to two-thirds of all vehicle productions by 2030 as their contribution to realising a low-carbon society.
Both PCX Electric and PCX Hybrid were developed based on the PCX Scooter model.
Enhanced with an internal combustion and electric motor hybrid, PCX Hybrid also comes with the new weight-balancing frame body and improved acceleration system, all promised at an affordable price.Honda PCX Hybrid
Riding Assist-e, meanwhile, is equipped with a unique balance control technology developed from ASIMO, Honda’s iconic humanoid robot. When driven at low speed, the 700cc, electrically run prototype will be able to balance itself, easing driving efforts.Honda Riding Assist-e
Honda also introduced other recently developed motorcycle models with features ranging from sophisticated designs to prominent technologies.
The Gold Wing, first launched in 1975, now comes with a six-stroke engine, DCT 7-speed and double wishbone suspension. Its 1800cc engine will save more 20 per cent of petrol compared with the previous version. Its telescopic shock absorber will ensure a smooth ride while maintaining a sporty atmosphere.
Honda Gold Wing
The Neo Sports Cafe Concept was also introduced with a blend of sporty touch and retro atmosphere inspired by European cafe diners of the 1970s.Honda Neo Sports Cafe Concept
The Super Cub series, having reached 100 million units in global production, also presents the Super Cub 110, Cross Cub 110 equipped with bigger wheels, and Super Cub C125 models, equipped with a smart key, antilock braking system and electric motorcycle seats.
All new Super Cub models maintain designs to reflect comfortable urban recreational lifestyles, just as the first models in the series did 60 years ago.
The series, particularly successful in Vietnam, are also popular among Thais. They were first manufactured in the Kingdom in 1967, nine years after they were introduced. Thailand was also the first manufacturing base for Super Cub models outside Japan.Honda Super Cub series