RSS

The Bulletin

Honda's pint-sized "Micro Commuter" unveiled

Posting in Design

Honda has unveiled a new pint-sized electric car designed for short distance travel.

The car manufacturer's prototype, dubbed the "Micro Commuter", was first revealed at last year's Tokyo Motor Show.

The protoype is able to reach speeds of 80km per hour, and is restricted to a maximum distance of 60km. When Honda says the car is small, it's not exaggerating -- as measurements come in at 2,500 × 1,250 × 1,445 mm and weighs less than 400kg.

The Micro Commuter is powered by a lithium ion battery, and takes less than three hours to charge at a 15KW output. As the battery of the vehicle is placed under the floor, the car's body can be altered depending on what you want to use it for -- from accommodating another passenger to delivery rounds.

The car has been designed to take one driver and passenger, or two children. However, Honda's variable design platform lets consumers customize the car for various -- if limited -- purposes.

A demo test for the tiny electric vehicle (EV) is planned for 2013 in Japan, to ascertain whether the car will have value for today's consumers, and will be tested to see if it will be useful for general use, car sharing, home delivery and public sector use.

Last year, Honda president Takanobu Ito told PluginCars.com that its EV plans will focus on "very small vehicles," commenting that "Last year we launched the motorcycle EV. We think we should expand on this and for mini-vehicles, an even smaller size category."

Image credit: Honda

Related:

— By on November 16, 2012, 8:22 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure