Honda launches Motocompacto e-scooter harking back to the 1980s city commuter

The electric Honda Motocompacto is a real-life transformer. Picture: Honda

The electric Honda Motocompacto is a real-life transformer. Picture: Honda

Published Sep 18, 2023


In the early 1980s, Honda launched a compact hatchback car in Japan called the City, which uniquely offered a factory add-on of a cuboid, folding petrol engine scooter, called the Motocompo – designed to be stored in the City’s boot.

Forty years later, Honda has revisited the idea by unveiling the foldable Motocompacto e-scooter – a modern, sleeker, and some might say, cuter, reimagining of its older sibling.

Resembling a sleek piece of luggage when stored, Honda’s new foldable electric scooter is a homage to its 1980s petrol engine sibling.

The Motocompacto (2023) resembles a piece of carry-on luggage, or perhaps a folding table, and weighs 19 kilogrammes – less than half the weight of the 1980s original, which came in at 42kg.

Capable of 24km/h and with a range of 19km, the Motocompacto features a folding seat, handlebars and rear wheel, and will cost $995 (±R19,000) when it launches abroad in November 2023.

Picture: Honda

The little scooter can be fully charged in 3.5 hours from any wall socket, and you can change ride modes via a Bluetooth smartphone app.

It’s unclear whether or not there is an EV on the horizon with a boot big enough to fit the 2023 Motocompacto to mimic the 1980s City-Motocompo combo.

Picture: Honda

Honda is known for its innovation in giving vehicle owners a little extra. The CR-V compact SUV came with a folding picnic table in all models between 1997 and 2006.

Transformers, roll out. Picture: Honda

IOL Motoring