Honda unveils small electric car, bike and plane concepts ahead of Tokyo show debut

Honda unveils small electric car, bike and plane concepts ahead of Tokyo show debut
Honda unveils small electric car, bike and plane concepts ahead of Tokyo show debut

Although the Japan Mobility Show — the successor the long-running biennial Tokyo motor show — is a month away, Honda has just revealed a number of electric car, van and bike concepts it will have on display.

The Sustaina-C concept looks to carry on the retro styling theme from the e that’s sold in Europe and Japan, albeit as a three-door hatch. In a nod to the first-generation Ford Ka, the Sustaina-C also has black bumpers that flow straight into the wheel arch protectors.

Featuring body panels made from recycled and reused acrylic resin, the Sustaina-C was developed to “demonstrate the concept of transcending the constraints of the limited availability of resources through ‘resource circulation’”.

Honda Pocket concept

It’s unclear if the Sustaina-C previews a new production car, and if it does, we’re not sure if it will ride on a new platform or use an updated version of the so-far bespoke rear-wheel EV architecture employed by the e.

While the e has earned lots of praise for exterior and interior design, sales have been below expectations with only around 10,000 sold to date. The e’s small 35.5kWh battery pack and 220km WLTP range rating, coupled with high pricing are cited as the main culprits.

Accompanying the Sustaina-C is an equivalent electric bike, known as the Pocket concept. It too has recycled acrylic resin panels, and a red, black and white design.

Honda SC e: concept

The other electric bike revealed overnight was the SC e: concept, which has two Honda Mobile Power Pack e: swappable battery packs.

Honda boldly claims the SC e: will allow its hypothetical owners to “transcend the constraints of time” as they no longer need to wait for their bike batteries to recharge.

The CI-MEV concept is a tiny two seater is a “last mile” mobility vehicle designed for those who don’t live close to public transport and people who “experience difficulty in walking a long distance”.

It could also, presumably, be used in small hilly or mountainous Japanese towns where even kei cars seem kinda large.

Honda CI-MEV concept

Given its petite size and specific use case, the CI-MEV will likely have a small battery with limited range, and a low top speed.

Similar vehicles are classed as quadricycles in Europe. One example is Fiat Topolino/Citroen Ami/Opel Rocks Electric, which all feature a 6kW electric motor driving the front wheels, a 45km/h top speed, a 5.5kWh battery good for around 75km of driving, and a plastic body draped over a steel frame weighing around 475kg in total.

Even more niche is the Autonomous Work Vehicle concept, which is designed to carry large and heavy loads around a factory or warehouse.

Its utility can expanded to a “wide range of applications using various attachments”.

The most likely car to transition into production is the unnamed “commercial-use mini-BEV” prototype. Based on the petrol-powered N-Van kei car, which has a sliding side doors and a 660cc three-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual.

Visual differences between the existing petrol N-Van and the prototype are limited to a new bumper with a centrally mounted licence plate slot. There’s also a blacked out grille, door handles, and unadorned steel wheels for a very utilitarian look.

In order to comply with kei car regulations power will likely be limited to 47kW.

Honda eVTOL concept

Also lurking at Honda’s display stands will be a one-fifth scale mockup of the eVTOL concept. Powered by a hybrid gas turbine system, which will also on show, the eVTOL is capable of vertical take-off and landing — hence the name — and seems to be targeted at future air taxi services.

Honda has yet to reveal any details about the drivetrains for these car, bike and plane concepts. We expect specifics to be announced closer to the Japan Mobility Show, which takes place at the end of October.

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