Details are light at this point, but this morning my RSS feed is alive with mentions of this new EV version of Honda’s iconic Super Cub. With model lifetime production numbers reaching 60 Million, the Super Cub is the most successful and ubiquitous vehicle of all time. Debuted at the Tokyo auto show, the EV Cub concept is one wire in a multi-spoke wheel of urban EV concepts from Honda including a car and even a segway-esque powered unicycle that fits in the door. It’s unclear just what will see the light of day, but this EV Cub concept is really, really interesting.

Honda EV Cub Concept

Starting with the styling, I am always a huge fan of EVs that look like they’re from some sort of 50’s vision of the future. The Cub is such an odd-looking vehicle to begin with that in a lot of ways this new, rounded version is simply a nice design update. But the new curves of the EV Cub reveal something else. Judging from size, it looks as though both the front and rear wheels have hub motors and I can only assume regenerative brakes. I wonder if there are even mechanical drum brakes inside those hubs at all. I’ve heard from several Vectrix owners that because of the powerful regenerative braking on that bike, they sometimes forget they have regular brakes all together. Braking aside, the idea of an all-wheel drive scooter is very interesting indeed. There have been experiments with two-wheel-drive motorcycles with positive results and I’m curious what the handling would be like on a vehicle this light. Beyond that, what kind of efficiency gains could be made by spreading the load across more than one motor (effectively adding a degree of mechanical advantage)?

All in all, as battery tech evolves the Honda Cub EV may take the Cub another 60 years into the future. Here’s hoping it goes into production. Either way, it’s a charming little concept.

Nathaniel Salzman