More concept news from the Tokyo Motor Show, this time in the guise of a Honda electric vehicle with a decidedly retro flavor. It bares more than a passing resemblance to the Honda N360 and N600 kei cars, only updated, modernized and with an electric drivetrain. In addition to being an EV, the EV-N also boasts some inventive technology, although we’re not quite sure about the custom-fitted unicycle holder. No, I’m not making that up. A little bit ago, Honda showed off a unicycle to all the tech geek blogs. It was self-stabilizing one-wheeled version of a Segway. No, I don’t think Honda will be offering a one wheeler. Nor will they probably be producing the EV-N in any quantity, but it does show what they’re thinking about future EVs.
The electric-”fueled” EV-N is designed for close-fitting metropolitan spaces and short commutes in places like Tokyo. In cases like that, range and interior space will not be a concern. The EV-N is not a road trip car by any means. That also explains the unicycle holder, which is there to hold the company’s gyro-stabilized U3-X unicycle. As I recall, Honda made a car quite similar to this back in the 1980s that featured a small, collapsible scooter stored in the way-back. The idea then, as the idea now, is that you drive your little electric commuter car close to your office or place of work. Park it, take out the unicycle, and ride that the rest of the way in.
I know, but this is, after all, a concept. And some people in Japan might consider a unicycle as the final leg in their daily commute, but, cultural differences aside, I’m pretty sure those people would be looked upon in Japan the same way they would be look at here (unless you happen to live in Sarasota Florida).
Anyway, more about the EV-N. It features a solar panel on the roof to help recharge the EV-N’s batteries and on the inside there are removable seat covers help keep things clean as well as stylish inside – don’t like the interior anymore? Buy some new seat covers.
There’s also a surprising amount of cargo space in the way-back of the EV-N. The back seat isn’t that roomy (yeah, hard to belief there’s even a back seat in there), but when you fold that down, you could easily carry enough documentation for that day’s presentation clear across town.
No, Honda says there are no production plans for the EV-N, but given the Japanese need and sales history for micro cars like this, and the growing need for EVs, it’s easy to see something like the EV-N being produced in the near future.