Major automakers all over the world are still trying to figure out the best approach to producing viable electric vehicles. Japanese automaker Honda seems to be taking the “less is more” approach by offering some of its smallest cars as pure electric vehicles. Honda has introduced its creatively-named Micro Commuter Prototype, which will begin road tests next year before (hopefully) heading to production.
Based on a concept that debuted last year, the Micro Commuter Prototype measures just 98.4 inches long, and has seating for 3 adults (two up front, one in the back) or two adults and two children. Obviously, this isn’t meant to be a family car, but rather a multi-purpose vehicle that can be transformed into a delivery truck, coupe, or cabriolet for a variety of different uses. This Honda Micro EV certainly could be useful for a lot of different folks.
Rather, the Micro Commuter is an urban electric vehicle designed for short range missions around the city. With just a single 15 kWh battery on board, the Micro Commuter has enough juice for a maximum range of only 37 miles. The top speed is limited to just 50 mph. As far as the looks good, it isn’t bad, though I personally preferred the retro looks of the Honda EV-N concept better.
While a small battery would seem to hurt the Honda Micro Commuter’s chances of becoming a production car, Honda is already planning road tests for 2013. The aim is to produce a cheap, affordable, and practical electric car for city dwellers, rather than trying to compete with gas guzzlers. With high prices being a major limiting factor in EV adoption, Honda is hoping the low cost and urban nature of the Micro Commuter might have a certain amount of appeal among city folks.
Pricing hasn’t been mentioned, though this is the kind of vehicle that would have to sell in the $10,000 range for anyone to seriously consider it. For city dwellers who just need the occasional ride uptown, the Honda Micro Commuter could be the perfect car.