|Honda Announces Launch of Nekomaru HPE60 Electric Power-Assisted Wheelbarrow|
|Tokyo, April 27, 1998 --- The HPE60 electric power-assisted wheelbarrow will go on sale from July 1 at Honda Power Products dealers throughout Japan. Lightweight, compact and functionally simple to operate, the HPE60 helps reduce the effort of moving loads, and brings a new level of convenience to wheelbarrows.
The Nekomaru HPE60 employs the same basic technology as that used in the Honda Racoon electric power-assisted bicycle. Responding automatically to a perceived load to reduce the effort needed by the operator, the HPE60 is the first of Honda Power Products equipped with electric power assistance.
In the case of the Racoon, the electric motor supplies power depending on how much force it detects is being applied to the pedals. In the Nekomaru, special sensors in the handle grips detect how much force is being applied to push the load and convert this information into an electrical signal. Regulated via a control circuit, the signal causes an amount of electric motive power proportional to the operator's pushing force to be supplied to the wheel. In this way the mechanism gives you extra assistance when you need it, depending on the load and slope. Otherwise, operation is like any ordinary wheelbarrow.
A new, highly efficient brake design and a one-way clutch ensure you easy operation even when strong forces are being applied to the load. Furthermore, a single switch is all that is needed to activate the power-assist mechanism and even when it is in the on position, electricity is only consumed when necessary. This energy efficient system thus keeps the battery size small. This in turn helps keep all the parts supplying the motive power lightweight and compact.
The Nekomaru HPE60 electric power-assisted wheelbarrow is equally at home in muddy fields as it is on the factory floor. It can be safely and easily used by anyone including women and senior citizens.
The Nekomaru HPE60 electric power-assisted wheelbarrow
Domestic annual sales target: 5,000 units
** Running times on full battery charge. Since these will vary with operating conditions, they are merely estimates.