Honda has presented the production version of the Honda Micro Commuter, which is known officially as a ‘micro size, short distance, EV commuter’. The concept, which has quite an extreme form, was unveiled at the Tokyo motor show last year. Honda said that this vehicle, which is meant to be the first one of a family to arrive, was designed to fall under the new micro vehicle categories that the Japanese government is thinking of licensing.
It was also developed to comply with the regulations for the European L7 motorcycle category, a niche that the Renault Twizy is taking advantage of right now. The Micro Commuter is only 2.5m long, 1.25m wide and 1.45m high. It is equipped with a rear-mounted electric motor and a 15kW lithium-ion battery.
It has a 37-mile range and can reach a top speed of 50mph. This car makes use of a clip-in tablet computer to offer instrumentation and controls that individual drivers would personally own. The Micro Commuter could fit in a driver and two small children in the rear, reminiscent of the widespread sight in Japan of mothers driving two children around on a bicycle.
But then, it is built on a ‘variable design platform’ that could lead to other body styles. Honda believes that this concept will later evolve into transport for the elderly, car-sharing schemes, home delivery services and public sector use.
The first prototypes will begin operating in 2013 in Japan, which includes Saitama City, where Honda is trailing the Honda Smart Home System. This means that the household can use the Micro Commuter as a back-up battery. It’s also possible to charge this car using any of Honda’s current hybrid production cars.