Honda imagines family-size electric suitcase ‘MotoCompacto’

In 2023, Honda amazed the world with a modern electric version of its iconic foldable MotoCompo motorscooter from the eighties (1981 – 1983), the MotoCompacto. That ‘electric suitcase on wheels’ might get a ‘family version’ or an electric child cart version for two kids and one parent standing on it like an e-scooter. At least Honda has filed a patent application that points that way.

According to the drawings, it would feature four wheels for stability instead of two of the original MotoCompacto, two children’s seats, and handlebars to hold on to. A parent can stand on a small platform at the back, holding a third handlebar to control the vehicle.

Following like a doggy

If the battery is depleted, you can tow it with a rope tied to the handlebar, but if there is still ‘juice’ left, it can also follow you like a doggy autonomously. Little is known yet except for the leaked patent drawings, but it indeed looks like a foldable alternative for the ‘fallen’ five-seater Dutch Stint electric child cart. You could throw this one into your EV’s trunk to take your kids anywhere.

The current version of the Honda MotoCompo is for sale in the US for $995. It resembles a suitcase with foldable footpegs, a saddle, and a steering bar with an integrated carrying handle. At the front, there’s a small LED light. It can support a person’s weight of up to 130 kg, has an actual range of 12 miles (19,3 km), and a top speed of 15 mph (24 kph). Charging takes three-and-a-half hours.

The two wheels are always visible, but the one on the back expands when you stretch it in scooter format. The clean and minimalist style makes it look like a suitcase. But that suitcase still weighs some 21 kilograms.

The original Honda MotoCompo, built between 1981 and 1983, wasn’t a big hit. Honda produced 50,000 units over two years. Three years ago, the idea inspired the Indonesian manufacturer of EV motorcycles, Katalis, to release the Spacebar, which is still on sale today but at a price three times as high as the current MotoCompacto.

Deadly Stint accident

The Dutch Stint was developed in 2011 by mobility expert Edwin Renzen and industrial designer Peter Noorlander as an electric child cart with five seats. It was controlled by an adult holding bike-like handlebars while standing on a small platform in the back.

However, after the accident in Oss (the Netherlands), in which four children died in a collision with a train, the Stint was forbidden for use on public roads. Five years later, in August 2023, two company executives were accused in court of “marketing and selling a harmful product”.

The company of the Dutch entrepreneurs, Stint Urban Mobility, initially faced near bankruptcy but managed to redesign the concept into a safer electric cargo bike, which Stint rebranded as the ‘BSO bus.’ That improved concept, featuring a roll cage for safety, among other things, got approval for public transport for children.

In 2020, Stint designed a new vehicle that was allowed again on public roads in the Netherlands. Since then, the electric cargo bike has been trendy again at children’s daycare centers /Stint Urban Mobility


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