Friday, August 25, 2017

Fossil Free Friday: Electric Honda Cubs [Updated for the DIY Crowd]

[Updates can be found in light blue at the bottom of the page.]
Here at Mesquite Hugger, our favorite electric vehicles are the ones that used to run on gasoline. Scooters, cars, trucks, boats...they're all welcome here. If the budget is low and the creativity is high, well, that just makes them better. So, today, let's talk about conversions of the most-produced gas burner of all time - the Honda Cub. Yep, the humble little Honda that has trod roads all over the planet is none too sexy, but it has been an amazing success and a durable workhorse.

The Off-Road Version CT90
Groovy, baby! (Be sure to check out the rare cafe racer version at the top of the ad.)

And lately, it's also been a very cool platform for a number of electric conversions. Even Honda has gotten into it and has been been showing off an electric version they will apparently produce:
AutoEvolution: Honda E-Cub Concept

The electric Honda E-Cub is cool and sleek and all kinds of good stuff from the company that  brought the Cub to us in the first place. And, to keep me from burning any gasoline, I'd definitely ride it (and I'm sure I'd enjoy the ride), but it sure doesn't call to me on a deeper level. (Maybe that's a good thing.)

But there are some conversions out there that do light a little fire. Recently, a conversion from Shanghai Customs has been making the eco-news rounds. It's very minimalist flat-tracker cool. Check it out:

So clean and simple - that big rear hub is the electric motor.
The gauge cluster is now a smart phone.

The old petrol tank is now the battery pack

When I first saw the Shanghai bike, I thought it was the Australian Deus Electric Cub showbike that was making the rounds a few years ago. When the Deus first appeared I did a lot of drooling and dreaming. Sure, I'd want a substantially puffier seat, but, man, that thing is cool!

Look, Ma - no rear shocks!

Okay, I hear a few of you grumbling about living in the real world and all that good stuff, so here are a few more Cub and CT conversions from They both give a better view of what us down-to-earth types might build if we found ourselves with a Cub, a hacksaw, and a dream. (I think these are pretty cool too!)

In case you are now feeling inspired, finding a hub motor for your build shouldn't be too hard...
...and somewhere near you there is a sad little Honda Cub or CT sitting in the weeds just waiting for an ambitious tinkerer like you to jump in:
[Updated area 8-28-2017]
I should've done a little more research. For those of you who (like me) really, really want to build your own E-Cub, Inside EVs posted an article about the E-Cub last week explaining that Shanghai Customs will be starting a Kickstarter campaign to sell you an E-Cub electrification kit which contains a motor, a controller, wiring, a battery pack, and a custom-made swingarm. If you've never tried your own conversion project, trust me, this would be an awesome way to start your project! More details in the link below the IEVs logo:

May you get your motor running, and may it be fueled by wind and sunlight and electrons!
PS. Here're a few more things to inspire your electro-conversion dreams:

A few more electrics from Shanghai Customs

Another take on the Cub from the EmpiDog blog

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