Honda's pint-sized "Micro Commuter" unveiled

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

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

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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