Honda Micro Commuter is a Funky Little Quadricycle

10 years, 4 months ago - 14 November 2012, Autoblog
Honda Micro Commuter is a Funky Little Quadricycle
Honda is developing and/or already selling vehicles with hydrogen, natural gas and hybrid powertrains. But when it comes to pure electric vehicles, the company only offers a limited palette.

In Japan, it now means the just-announced Micro Commuter Prototype (and more of the Fit EV project).

The new Micro Commuter is a low-ish-speed EV (it can only go up to 80,5 per hour) that has a 100-km range from a li-ion battery of unspecified size that can recharge in three hours. The car is also tiny, spanning just eight feet, two inches long by four feet, one inch wide. That makes it smaller in both footprint than the Smart Fortwo. It seats one, but can be reconfigured to seat two, tandem style.

The potential scope for the Micro Commuter is also small, at least for now. Honda is testing the EV, "in various uses including supporting everyday short-distance transportation for families with small children and for senior citizens, home delivery services, commuting and car sharing." The big idea here is Honda's Variable Design Platform, which allows different configurations to be placed on top of a platform that contains the battery, control unit and 15-kW motor. Other futuristic touches, like using your own tablet computer as a battery meter or backup camera display screen, are being considered.

Honda will start testing the Micro Commuter in 2013 as part of an initiative spearheaded by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The car is also being developed with an eye on L7 category (quadricycle) regulations in Europe. An earlier version of the Micro Commuter was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2011.