Honda and the City of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture,
Japan today began discussion of field tests of the Micro Commuter
Prototype, Honda’s micro-sized EV model. The testing will begin this
fall, to be conducted jointly with the City of Saitama. Saitama City‘s
council for promoting the use of micro-sized electric mobility products
submitted the application to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure,
Transport and Tourism (MLIT) that was publicly seeking projects to
promote the introduction of micro-sized mobility. The MLIT adopted this
project on June 28, 2013.

Through
this testing project conducted within the City of Saitama, Honda and
the City will study usage patterns and needs of micro-sized mobility
products as part of a social system, to solve the various
transportation-related issues, especially in urban areas. The testing
project will particularly study the potential of a micro-sized EV in
various uses including assisting the short-distance daily transportation
of senior citizens and car-sharing for commuting and commercial
purposes. In addition, the value of a micro-sized EV for child-raising
families will also be studied.

The
Micro Commuter Prototype β is a micro-sized short-distance
transportation EV developed in consideration of the vehicle categories
for micro-sized mobility products that are currently being discussed
under the initiative of the MLIT in Japan, as well as for regulations
for the L7 category in Europe.

The
adoption of the Variable Design Platform enabled to locate key
components such as the battery, motor and control unit under the floor
and in the rear space to concentrate the vehicle driving functions into a
compact space. This made it comparatively easier to develop and produce
different body and interior types which accommodate various uses and
needs of customer than existing vehicles. For this testing, Honda will
provide two-occupant (one driver/one passenger) models.