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EV-N is Honda's electric Kei car

2009-10-05 08:07
Remember Honda’s N360, the 360cc air-cooled microcar of the late 1960? Well, the Japanese company now has an electric spiritual successor, called the EV-N.

Styling of the new electric mirocar cues the original N360 closely, especially those round headlights and the tall profile.

Proportions are decidedly Kei-car, and although EV-N is hardly a thing of great beauty (cute, perhaps), there is some awfully clever thinking behind it – as one would expect from Honda.

The car is powered by an electric motor only, which in turn is fed by a lithium-ion battery pack.

EV-N’s roof surfacing contains photovoltaic cells (solar panels) which aid recharging.

EV-N interior practical and features a nearly infinite range of colour combinations thanks to interchangeable trim. No, we don't know what the multi-coloured dinosaur eggs are doing on the back seat either...

Surprise inside...

EV-N's Cabin is a study in minimalism, from the starkly uncluttered instrument binnacle and fascia to the two-spoke steering wheel.

Practicality is enhanced by lightweight seat frames, which feature interchangeable seat fabrics – which mean you can personalie your EV-N’s colour coordination to suit your outfit…

The EV-N’s most impressive feature is contained in the door panels, where circular cut-outs render a stowage space for Honda’s U3-X unicycle prototype – Honda's idea of what a segway should be.

No, those are not two oversized subwoofers. Instead, it's Honda's U3-X battery powered unicycle - like a segway, only better...

In typically over engineered Honda fashion, the U3-X might appear simple in terms of design, yet is hugely complex without reducing intuitive usability.

The apparently large wheel which constitutes U3-X’s contact surface is in fact a series smaller wheels in series, able to rotate independently. This means the U3-X can go forward, backwards, or turn, with a simple lean.

Honda’s credits the U3-X’s design with lessons learnt from its ASIMO robotics research.

All we know is it weighs less than 10kg and has one hour’s worth of lithium-ion battery endurance on a single charge.

The EN-N/U3-X combination simply reconfirms that our Japanese friends are on completely another planet when it comes to personal mobility solutions...

Both products will be on display at the Tokyo motor show later this month.


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