Honda’s latest addition to its PCX series of scooters is the PCX HYBRID, the world’s first mass-produced motorized scooter (125cc or less) equipped with a motorcycle hybrid system. Sales begin in Japan in September.
The PCX HYBRID, based on the PCX released in April 2018, is powered by a new high-output lithium ion battery, adding drive assist to the ACG (Alternating Current Generator) starter that conventionally starts the engine and generates electricity.
The PCX HYBRID’s compact hybrid system fits within the PCX’s chassis, realizing motor-assisted agile throttle response and high performance, while retaining the PCX’s versatility.
The engine is started and assisted by an ACG starter (with drive assist) controlled by the Power Drive Unit (PDU) which determines assist amount and monitors the high-output 48V lithium ion battery.
The ACG starter assists for 4 seconds after 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.
With a motor assisting the engine, the PCX HYBRID realizes sharper throttle response and superior performance compared to conventional scooters in the same class, while maintaining the PCX engine’s characteristic quietness and feel of quality.
Two motor assist modes allow the rider to choose the level of motor assist: “D” mode provides comfortable riding with suitable assist and exceptional fuel economy, and “S” mode provides stronger assist for a sporty ride.
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 series is powered by a durable, quiet and highly fuel efficient global scooter engine “eSP” 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 and relaxed. Convenient features such as the Honda SMART Key system add to the series’ popularity among a wide range of customers.
Honda expects to sell 2,000 units of the hybrid scooter per year in Japan with a recommended retail price of ¥432,000 (US$3,900), including consumption tax.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.