Motocompacto, the futuristic scooter straight from Honda’s past

The Japanese company unveils a folding vehicle that echoes a quirky design from the 1980s, now being proposed as a last-mile mobility solution for electric car drivers.

In the 1980s, Honda tried to market a small gasoline scooter called Motocompo. The idea was simple: the scooter would fit in the trunk of a Honda city car and let drivers park outside of congested cities, then zip into the city center on their unfolded little scooter. 

The product didn’t catch on, though, and after a couple of years, the Motocompo was discontinued. Now Honda is reviving the scooter with a new compact and futuristic design as the Motocompacto. 

With a top speed of 25 km/h, small wheels and a battery with limited capacity, the Motocompacto, which is universally categorized as a kick scooter, has all the features of a folding scooter with a quirky design.

According to Honda, the range is also limited, which would make sense for the original purpose of the vehicle as a last-mile option to facilitate parking of an electric car in densely populated areas. 

“Motocompacto is perfect for getting around cityscapes and college campuses. It was designed with rider comfort and convenience in mind with a cushy seat, secure grip foot pegs, on-board storage, a digital speedometer, a charge gauge, and a comfortable carry handle”, says Honda in its marketing materials. “A clever phone app enables riders to adjust their personal settings, including lighting and ride modes, via Bluetooth.”

While the Motocompacto is more in line with the current zeitgeist than the Motocompo in the 80s, there is the question as to why an electric car driver should prefer a bulky square-shaped kickscooter as a dinghy to carry around to any other more compact, cheaper, yet more powerful electric kickscooter on the market. But from an aesthetic standpoint, the Monocompacto looks amazing and may soon become a cult favorite.

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