Honda will unveil a Hybrid-version of its popular PCX Scooter range.
The PCX Hybrid, based on the PCX launched in April 2018, is powered by a new high-output lithium ion battery, adding drive assist to the ACG starter that conventionally starts the engine and generates electricity. This variant will hit Japanese markets initially, later this year.
By utilising the 125cc scooter’s limited space, such as positioning the lithium ion battery to the rear of the 23-litre luggage box and the power drive unit (PDU) within the front cover, Honda says the PCX Hybrid retains the PCX’s versatility, relaxed riding position and ease of handling.
With a motor assisting the engine, the PCX Hybrid boasts sharper throttle response and superior performance compared to conventional scooters in the same class (4-stroke, 125cc scooters), while maintaining the PCX engine’s characteristic quietness and quality feel. Two motor-assist modes are on offer: ‘D’ mode provides comfortable riding and exceptional fuel economy, and ‘S’ mode provides stronger assist for a sporty ride.
The PCX series is powered by a durable, quiet and highly fuel efficient engine mounted on a high-rigidity double-cradle frame. All-LED lights and continuously flowing curves from the front to rear make the PCX’s styling elegant, contemporary and very appealing.
Convenient features such as the Honda Smart Key system add to the series’ popularity among a wide range of customers. The Honda Smart Key system allows the rider to unlock the main switch knob by simply approaching the PCX Hybrid, without requiring physical use of the key.
World’s first hybrid system for mass-produced motorcycles
The PCX Hybrid’s compact hybrid system fits within the PCX’s chassis, enabling motor-assisted agile throttle response and high performance, while retaining the scooter’s much-appreciated versatility.
The engine is started and assisted by an ACG starter (with drive assist) controlled by the PDU which determines assist amount and monitors the high-output 48V lithium ion battery.
The ACG starter assists for 4 seconds after being activated by throttle operation. The assist amount is determined according to the amount of throttle, and enables agile acceleration according to ride conditions while maintaining ease of use equivalent to the PCX. Increased torque due to motor assist offers stronger acceleration and agile throttle response which only a motor can provide.
The PCX Hybrid’s compact battery unit houses, both, a high energy-density lithium ion battery and a Battery Management Unit (BMU) that monitors remaining charge.
The instrument panel clearly displays various hybrid system details. In addition to speed, time, and average fuel consumption, the panel displays motor assist mode, lithium ion battery charge status, and remaining charge.
The PCX Hybrid’s idling stop system has a shorter start time than the PCX, and contributes to quietness while stationary and improved fuel economy.
The PCX, as we have reported earlier, is an expensive piece of machinery and is certainly not being considered for India, at least not in current spec. The PCX Hybrid is even more far off from an Indian debut, although it will be interesting to observe how hybrid technology trickles down to a more affordable proposition over the next few years. While a PCX-sized scooter for India will certainly be welcome, it will be up to the Suzuki Burgman Street, due for launch on July 19, to establish whether the entry-level maxi scooter segment is destined to take off.