2024 Honda EM1 e: - Technical Review

2024 Honda EM1e Technical Review Price Spec_01


Price: £TBA | Power: 2.3bhp | Weight: 95kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: TBA


For decades Honda has been the globe’s most important motorcycle company but as plans to call an end to the sale of combustion engine bikes get ever clearer its lack of battery-powered offerings has been increasingly apparent. While the EM1 e: might look unassuming and lack any obvious killer feature to rise above the competition its position as Honda’s first electric two-wheeler for the European market means it’s a hugely significant step into the future.

This is what Honda is good at, of course. On paper, the C90 is dull as dishwater, but it’s also the single most important motorcycle ever built. Can the EM1 e: - the first of 10 planned electric Honda’s due by 2025 – come close to replicating that success?


Pros & Cons

  • Swappable battery compatible with a planned ecosystem of other electric Hondas
  • Lightweight and simple
  • More peace of mind than no-name, low-cost alternatives
  • Range and performance limited
  • No fast charging
  • Rivals already have a head-start
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Review – In Detail

Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension (inc. weight & brakes)
Comfort & Economy


2024 HONDA EM1 e: price

Honda has yet to reveal how much the EM1 e: (yes, that colon is part of the name) will cost but it’s not going to be an expensive machine. It’s closely related to an existing bike – the U-Go – made in China by the Wuyang-Honda joint venture and the shared parts, including the chassis and bodywork, will surely help keep prices down. Where the European market EM1 e: differs is in its battery and electronics, which are uprated to be more sophisticated and the adopt Honda’s much-vaunted ‘Mobile Power Pack e:’ battery, designed to be compatible with a whole array of machines in the future, including everything from lawnmowers to quad bikes, and able to be rapidly swapped to eliminate the need for expensive fast-charging equipment.


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2024 HONDA EM1 e: Engine & Performance

Performance isn’t the EM1 e:’s goal. Electric motors might offer sprightly acceleration but the ‘EM’ part of the name stands for Electric Moped and as such the bike is limited by the same power and performance restrictions that all bikes in the ‘AM’ licence category.

Power comes from an in-wheel, three-phase brushless electric motor, with an absolute maximum of 1.7kW (2.3hp). As usual with electric bikes, the ‘rated’ power of the motor is far lower than the peak, coming in at only 0.58kW (0.8hp), and there’s an ‘ECON’ mode that limits the peak to 0.86kW (1.15hp) but increases the range between charges.

As usual for electric bikes, the torque figure is much more impressive than the power, coming in at 66lb-ft (90Nm).

By putting the motor inside the rear wheel, space is cleared for the battery under the seat. The Honda Mobile Power Pack e: is a 50.3V lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 29.4Ah, that can be swiftly removed for charging indoors. There’s no option to add a second battery, which is surprising, since the Chinese Wuyang-Honda U-Go that’s visually identical to the EM1 e: can carry two 48V, 30Ah batteries, giving it a quoted range that’s far greater than the EM1 e:’s.

To comply with the ‘AM’ licence class, the EM1 e:’s top speed is 45km/h (28mph); just about enough to keep up with city traffic but clearly not enough for any longer, out-of-town journeys. The bike’s rated to carry a maximum of 180kg of load, and with a 75kg rider aboard it’s claimed to be able to maintain its speed on uphill slopes of up to 10 degrees.


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2024 HONDA EM1 e: Handling, weight and suspension

With a top speed akin to that of a well-pedalled pushbike and a weight of just 95kg including the 10.3kg battery, the EM1 e:’s suspension doesn’t need to be spectacular. You get non-adjustable, 31mm, right-way-up forks at the front and a pair of conventional coil-over shocks at the back. That rear suspension has a slightly tougher task than most, as the EM1 e: uses an in-wheel motor, adding more unsprung mass than you’d have with a chassis-mounted motor and belt or chain drive. Unusually, the 10-inch rear wheel itself is made of a plastic composite, helping keep weight down a fraction, while the 12-inch front wheel is a normal cast aluminium design.


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2024 HONDA EM1 e: Comfort & Economy

Electric power means ‘economy’ doesn’t equate to cost in quite the same way as it does on a petrol-powered bike – recharge the EM1 e: at home on a decent electricity rate and it will cost next to nothing to run. If you have solar panels, it could be genuinely free to recharge. But on the flip side, range for electric bikes is a much bigger concern than it is for petrol ones, and the EM1 e: doesn’t go very far on a charge.

Under WMTC (World Motorcycle Test Cycle) conditions, the EM1 e: can manage 30km on a charge (18.6 miles), but Honda says the EM1 e:’s ‘usable’ range during its own tests is actually a slightly more impressive 41.3km (25.7 miles). Switch to ECON mode and the range rises to 48km (29.8 miles).

Remember, the EM1 e:’s outright top speed is only 28mph, and during city riding you’ll spend plenty of time going even more slowly, so you can expect to get around an hour’s use from a fully-charged battery.

The fact that the Honda Mobile Power Pack e: is designed to be easily swapped, and to be used in multiple different machines, means this range could be extended if you have access to more than one of them. In some countries Honda is already selling huge recharging stations for the MPP e: batteries, allowing a battery-swap infrastructure to be created, and eventually something similar could appear here.

If only have access to one battery, though, it’s going to spend plenty of time on its dedicated charger. From 0 to 100% a full charge takes six hours, but a more typical 25% to 75% charge is a more reasonable 2.7 hours.

Honda says the battery pack is good for more than 2,500 charge cycles, which would be enough to cover somewhere around 60,000 miles if the range claims are accurate.

Comfort-wise, the seat is a low 740mm and it’s designed for two, even though the vast majority of these bikes are likely to be used by riders with L-plates rather than full licences, thus unable to carry a passenger. There are 3.3 litres of under-seat storage – not a lot, since the battery lives there – but a 35-litre top box is on the options list, and space for a 500ml water bottle in a pocket inside the front fairing. A second, 12V battery powers the bike’s lighting and electronics, which include a USB socket and digital instruments


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2024 HONDA EM1 e: brakes

Limited performance and weight mean there’s not too much strain on the EM1 e:’s brakes, made up of a disc at the front and a drum and the rear, operated hydraulically and including a combined braking system so either lever applies both brakes. There’s no ABS, though, and no regenerative braking to return power to the battery as you decelerate.



2024 HONDA EM1 e: Rivals

Exactly what rivals the EM1 e: is hard to pin down. Is it an alternative to a petrol-powered moped? Or something that customers will buy instead of a power-assisted bicycle? There’s even a strong argument to suggest its biggest competition comes from an Oyster card. As more mainstream bike firms enter the electric arena, this class will become clearer, but at the moment these are the clearest alternatives:


Yamaha NEO’s | Price: £3,350

Yamaha’s new NEO’s is close to the EM1 e:, both in its style and the infuriating use of meaningless additional punctuation in its name.

Power/Torque: 3.35bhp/100lb-ft | Weight: 98kg


Yamaha Booster | Price: £TBA

The Booster is a more bicycle-style machine: you’re expected to pedal and its electric motor assists, but the outright performance matches the EM1 e: and the range is longer. There’s no storage space or rear suspension, but at only 36kg it’s little over a third of the Honda’s weight.

Power/Torque: TBA bhp/55lb-ft | Weight: 36kg


Piaggio 1 | Price: £2700

Piaggio’s 1 is virtually identical to the EM1 e: on performance and specs, but benefits from an energy-recovery system to help boost its range.

Power/Torque: 1.8bhp/66lb-ft | Weight: 85kg  



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2024 HONDA EM1 e: Technical Specification

New price

From £TBA



Bore x Stroke


Engine layout

In-wheel motor

Engine details

Brushless, three-phase


2.3bhp (1.7KW)


66lb-ft (90Nm)


Direct drive

Average fuel consumption


Battery size

50.3V, 29.4Ah

Max range to empty

48km (29.8 miles) in ECON mode

Rider aids

Combined brakes


Steel underbone

Front suspension

31mm telescopic forks

Front suspension adjustment


Rear suspension

Twin shocks

Rear suspension adjustment


Front brake

Disc, hydraulic

Rear brake

Drum, hydraulic

Front wheel / tyre

Cast alloy, 90/90-12

Rear wheel / tyre

Composite, 100/90-10

Dimensions (LxWxH)

1860mm x 680mm x 1080mm



Seat height



95kg with battery





MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated




Looking for motorcycle insurance? Get a quote for this motorbike with Bennetts bike insurance


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What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.