Honda Japan has announced that it will begin lease sales of the EV-neo electric scooter on December 24, 2010. Designed as urban delivery vehicles, the scooters are seen by Japan's Ministry of Environment as technology development projects for global warming countermeasures.

The EV-neo is an electric scooter developed for businesses such as transport of heavy goods or delivery services and delivers a clean and quiet ride without compromising powerfulness. The vehicle qualifies as a first-class motor-driven cycle in Japan, for engine displacements of 50cc or less.

Honda plans to deliver about 100 monitoring vehicles between December 2010 and March 2011 to cooperating businesses in the monitoring program for collecting riding data and other useful information and to start lease sales of the EV-neo to general businesses and individual business owners in April 2011, the bike maker said in a statement.

Pricing for the base model has been set at 454,650 yen (about $5,400), while the EV-neo PRO, which comes with a rear carrier and front basket racket, rests at 459,900 yen (about $5,460). A standard battery charger adds 20,000 yen (about $240) to the base price, while a quick-charger will cost 120,000 yen (about $1,425).

As for the quick-charging system, Honda claims it takes just 30 minutes for a full recharge via a 200-volt power source, while a portable standard charger, stored underseat, takes 3.5 hours to fully charge from a 100V outlet.

Performance wise, the brushless AC motor comprises 72-volt batteries power that develops 8.1 lb-ft (11 Nm) at 2000 rpm. According to the manufacturer, its performances can be compared to that of a conventional internal combustion 50cc scooter.