A HONDA/MUJI Collaboration Turned Out this Minimalistic Design!
What I first liked most when seeing Honda’s latest offering with their MS01 electric scooter was the simplicity of it with no real bells and whistles. It looks like a minimalistic means of transportation with the possibility of pedaling or relying solely on electric power. As I dove further into this particular offering, the details revealed there was more to the story.
First and foremost, the MS01 was created in collaboration with Honda and MUJI. Honda’s technology was responsible for the electric vehicle's power and equipment, and MUJI was behind the design.
This brought me to my next question. Who is MUJI? It turns out MUJI is a Japanese Retail Giant founded in the 1980s. I read an excellent article titled Here’s the Story of How Japanese Retail Giant Muji Began by Darren McDermott. In short, MUJI began by becoming the anti-brand offering of several household and consumer goods. MUJI saw a need to bring items to market that focused on a product's essential purpose. This meant turning their nose up at their competitors with their frilly packaging and excessive marketing. They were the quintessential minimalistic supplier in a world of excess.
The MUJI website sums up their entire company focus in three points:
Focusing on our three priorities of “selection of materials,” “streamlining of processes,” and “simplification of packages,” we have grown into a brand with over 7,000 no-frills quality products.
This no-brand, no-frills strategy translates well into the MS01, starting with the black and white aesthetics. Kenya Hara, the artistic director of MUJI, designed the MS01 by taking inspiration from one of their earlier bikes (pictured below).
The MS01 scooter has a 400w hub-mounted motor which will have you clipping along at a top speed of 25km/h or 16mph. Don’t expect to be tearing up the roadways with this conveyance. The MS01 has a regenerative EBS power system and a 48V/20Ah lithium battery. The total range expected is roughly 41 miles to one battery charge. The battery is removable and can be found beneath the floorboard.
The MS01 also has 17-in tubeless tires, which allow you to travel over different surfaces, certainly not off-roading. You will find aluminum alloy handlebars and the ever-important kickstand to ensure this scooter remains upright. The step-through design allows easy access to the saddle seating for all sorts of riders. This scooter was meant to appeal to the masses.
You can expect to find LED lighting on the front and back.
A simple gauge on the handlebars will inform the rider of the speed and battery life remaining. The MS01 will also be equipped with a keyless unlocking function.
The asking price for one of these simple scooters starts at a very reasonable $744 before tax and delivery. If all of the above looks appealing, you may be disappointed. There are only plans to produce 5000 of these at this point. Here’s hoping they create a MS02!