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Honda's Micro Commuter Concept Is Fresh Out of the 3D Printer

We might look at the smart fortwo and go "geez, that thing is small," but the real land of miniature cars has got to be Japan. Here, you can have anything in dwarf-size, including delivery vans.
Honda Micro Commuter Concept 15 photos
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Besides the fact that all things small are cute, there's another, more practical reason for this: they are a perfect fit for the narrow streets of some of the Japanese cities. And just because there isn't too much sideways room, that doesn't mean the people who live there don't need to have things delivered to them.

Things like bread, for example. Honda and digital fabrication outfit Kabuku joined hands to satisfy this need for the inhabitants of Kamakura, a Japanese city featuring the usual cramped streets. The car maker provided the chassis, a build Honda has been working on for quite a few years called the Micro Commuter Concept, while Kabuku was responsible for the 3D printed body panels.

It took the two companies just two months to come up with the mini delivery van, New Atlas informs us, despite the fact that the brief was a little more complicated than "make something small that can fit some bread in it." Naturally, the vehicle uses an electric powertrain with all of its main components - motor, battery, control unit - concentrated together to offer maximum versatility for the rest of the car.

And, indeed, the Micro Commuter can serve a number of purposes, depending on the type of body mounted. In the pictures, you see the shortbread delivery van, but the storage box in the back can be replaced by two smaller seats, making the small EV perfect for taking the kids to school or to soccer practice.

Power comes from a 11 kW (15 hp) electric motor giving the Micro Commuter a top speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) and a range of about 80 kilometers (50 miles). That's not an awful lot, but a full recharge takes under three hours with a 200 V source, and under seven hours for 100 V.

Honda did not say how much a setup like this would cost, but we doubt it's too much. Weighing just 600 kg (approx. 1320 lbs) and measuring 2,495 x 1,280 x 1,545 mm (98 x and 50 x 61 in), the Micro Commuter is just as much about the manufacturing process as the actual product itself. In other words, if you happen to have access to a 3D printer, then you would actually own more than just one vehicle with the Micro Commuter. Hell, you could change its looks as often as you wash your hair. Or brush your teeth, if you happen to be bald.

 
 
 
 
 

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