Honda Motocompacto E-Scooter Is A Weird Folding EV With Some Serious Heritage

Back in the 1980s, Honda launched the Motocompo, a foldable urban mobility scooter that could fit in the trunk of cars and offered an easy last-mile commute for folks suffering the wrath of city traffic. Just as BMW keeps revisiting the Neue Klasse heritage to inject some energy into its portfolio, Honda is also doing the same in 2023, but with an electric twist to the short-lived cult classic two-wheeler. Unlike the original Motocompo, however, it looks like Honda is serious about moving its electric scooter in large numbers.

The Motocompacto e-Scooter costs just $995, a few dollars cheaper than the iPhone 15 Pro, and will be up for grabs from the company's website and Acura outlets in Japan starting November 2023. Riding the zero emissions promise of green mobility, the quirky-looking electric scooter is pleasingly tiny, weighs just around 41 pounds, and looks more like a sleek briefcase-on-wheels designed by Teenage Engineering.

It isn't exactly a wind-cruising ride, as the top speed maxes out at a modest 15 miles per hour. Honda is promising a range of 12 miles for its foldable electric scooter and says the battery inside can be juiced up fully in 3.5 hours using any standard 110V outlet. Interestingly, Honda sees it as a companion item that will be "sold in conjunction" with the company's portfolio of electric cars. Notably, short-distance electric rides like the Motocompacto e-Scooter are getting fairly popular in Asian colleges and urban locales, so there's a high chance it will make a splash. 

This needs to become mainstream

Despite its thin profile, Honda has managed to fit a speedometer on the Motocompacto e-Scooter, and despite its humble cruising credentials, it lets you adjust ride modes and the light controls using a companion mobile app. Honda is also promising a handful of other facilities such as a "cushy seat, secure grip foot pegs, on-board storage," and says it's a perfect ride for jaunting around college campuses or cramped urban spaces.

There is enough space inside the chassis to keep the charger tucked inside the frame wherever you go. To avoid any traffic rules violation tickets, Honda has managed to fit side reflectors and tail lights on the scooter, while the build employs aluminum frame parts. There's also a welded steel lock loop on the e-scooter to protect it from bike bandits.

The boxy white exterior looks clean, but if you feel like doodling some grotesque Latin quotes on it, please go ahead. In fact, Honda is encouraging buyers to have a grand old time customizing their foldable ride with decals, skins, and stickers of their choice. To really send home the message, the Japanese automaker will also be selling apparel, helmets, and backpacks to go with its odd offering. 

Honda also offers a slightly bigger (and more normal) version of the Motocompacto alongside another scooter called Koma Tatamel that really dials up the quirkiness factor. Now, if only Honda shifts its attention to the stunning RC-E and turns into a real thing.