Honda Motor Co. thinks it can apply it’s 4-wheel hybrid and battery technology to it’s motorcycles by 2011. The main hurdle they need to overcome is the size issue. Hybrid cars are generally made of lightweight materials, since the engine and more specifically, the batteries, are usually so heavy. On a motorcycle, there isn’t much more they can lighten in terms of body parts, so they’ll need to do some drastic engineering to the batteries or the hybrid technology itself to make it fit. Still, Honda believes they can do it.
They say the gasoline/electric hybrid motorbike technology will be 50 percent more fuel-efficient, and be available in sizes between 200 and 1,000 cc. There will also be a line of 100% electric scooters with below 200cc engines. Unfortunately, the smaller electric bikes will only be able to run about 20 miles on one charge, although they still means they could be useful within city limits.
Honda hopes to keep costs down by sharing production parts between the automotive abd motorcycle divisions. I’m excited to see how it turns out,