June 16 2011.

Honda's new EV-neo electric scooter made its European debut this week, with a demonstration and short test ride at Honda's innovative Safety Centre, based at the Montesa Honda factory in Barcelona, Spain, to showcase Honda's developing two-wheel electric vehicle technology.

Initially introduced as a concept model at the 2009 Tokyo Motorshow, EV-neo attracted great interest from the world's media and the public at the time and lease sales of the EV-neo then started in Japan in April 2011, to businesses and individual business owner who provide mainly delivery services in Japan, such as fast food and newspaper delivery. However, the EV-neo is designed to provide for recreational use as well as have the durability necessary for business use. Initial feedback shows that users appreciate its low noise (especially at night and early morning), emission free clean exhaust and quick charge system. Honda Japan is expecting to sell approximately 1,000 EV-neos in the first year at a base price of 454,650 Japanese Yen, approximately £3,500.

The EV-neo is also being used in Honda Electric Vehicle Testing Programmes in Kumamoto and Saitama prefectures in Japan. These testing programmes, which include motorcycles, automobile and power equipment products based on electromotive technologies, will help to test future forms of personal mobility and their potential in CO2 reduction, as part of Honda's 'Road to Zero Emissions' commitment for machines while in use. In the Kumamoto Programme, EV-neo scooters are rented to residents and tourists to provide feedback on their use and benefits and in Saitama they are leased to delivery companies.

A trial demonstration and evaluation programme in conjunction with Barcelona City Council will further get underway from the beginning of July 2011, which will see 18 EV-neos in use around the city for a period of one year. This also represents a significant step in Honda's European electric vehicle trial and development programme and Montesa Honda, Barcelona City Council and RACC - Spain's leading Automobile Club - will work together to carry out daily research and monitoring activities on the EV-neo's usage in Barcelona.

In addition, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) and its MotoGP Repsol Honda team have created a vibrant Repsol Honda branded EV-neo for use around the racing paddock.

The EV-neo battery electric scooter operates using a 2.8kw motor and Lithium-ion battery and has a range of 34km at 30km/h on level ground.* On top of its excellent environmental performance - zero emissions in use, in particular CO2 - the EV-neo uses a motor that even with cargo loaded, generates high torque in the low-speed range to achieve a powerful start and hill-climbing performance. This in-house manufactured motor adopts the Insight technology from Honda's leading hybrid automobile, and an exclusively developed quick charger enabling full recharge in 30 minutes in an optimum 25°C environment.

Its body design that features a wide and flat loading space that enables easy loading, and a flat floor that makes it easy to get on and off the vehicle, ensures ease of use in delivery services and other business and leisure situations.

Honda Motor Europe's Manager of Corporate Affairs, John Kingston, said, "We are delighted to bring Honda's electric vehicle technology to Europe for the first time and trialling the EV-neo in European conditions is an important step as we develop our electric vehicle activities. Motorcycles account for 30% of all vehicles in Barcelona so it is an ideal location for this evaluation programme.

"We know everyone is keen to know when either the EV-neo or other mass-production electric scooters and motorcycles will be available within Europe, but at this stage remind that the EV-neos coming to Barcelona are part of the next stage of Honda's development of alternative power for two-wheels, rather than an indication of Honda's imminent intention to bring electric two-wheelers to the market in Europe."

Honda pioneered the electric motorcycle segment in 1994, when the company leased a limited number of CUV-ES electric scooters (first-class motor-driven cycle in Japan, for engine displacements of 50cc or less) to national government agencies and local government bodies. By offering products with outstanding environmental performance to more customers, Honda is showing its commitment to reduce emissions, in particular CO2, on a global scale.

For further information about EV-neo visit or or call Honda's Customer Service team on 0845 200 8000.