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March 04, 2010

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Honda Showcases Zero Emission Expertise With 3R-C And EV-N Concepts at Geneva Motor Show


Geneva - Honda has unveiled two battery electric urban concept cars at Geneva, the stylish EV-N and the three-wheeled 3R-C, which envisions a single occupant vehicle for zero emission commuting. The radical concepts draw on Honda's expertise in zero and ultra low emission technologies to show two urban vehicles with no harmful tailpipe emissions.

Both, EV-N and 3R-C, build on Honda's vast working knowledge of battery electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles. Honda began producing the battery electric vehicle EV Plus in 1996 with the vehicles being leased to selected customers in the US. Since 1999 Honda has been selling petrol electric hybrid cars and in 2008 introduced the world's first production fuel cell electric vehicle, the FCX Clarity.


All of these vehicles utilise electric motors for propulsion and batteries to store power and it is this real-world production experience that Honda is bringing to its latest concept models. Honda's FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle uses a Lithium ion battery to store the energy from regenerative braking and Honda is currently enhancing its expertise in this area. Last-year a deal was signed with GS Yuasa to build a joint venture battery plant to produce Lithium ion battery packs for future Honda vehicles.


The EV-N is a battery electric vehicle study, which evokes the spirit of the diminutive 1967 N360 city car. Honda designers have incorporated Honda's own solar panels in to the roof of the concept, to charge the car while it is parked. Two of Honda's U3-X, electric personal mobility devices are attached to the inside of each door. The two-door Concept is envisioned with a Lithium ion battery pack, and small electric motor for predominantly urban use.

The EV-N concept's four-seat interior makes use of the compact dimensions of the battery electric drivetrain, to maximise space and utility, without increasing the vehicles dimensions. The seats of the car have been produced in a mesh finish, which is both very light and easy to change, to make it easy to change the colour and style of the interior, quickly and easily. The interior has been designed in a deliberately minimal style, to reduce the weight of the vehicle, increasing range and performance.


This revolutionary three wheeled battery electric vehicle concept shows what a future minimal urban transport vehicle for one person might look like. The battery electric drivetrain, is mounted low in the three wheeled chassis, therefore keeping the centre of gravity low and thus improving stability.

The 3R-C has a clear canopy that covers the driver's seat while it is parked and not in use. When the three wheel vehicle is in motion, the canopy becomes an enveloping wind-shield that provides the pilot, who sits low in the chassis, with significant protection.

The high sides of the safety shell seat give greater safety to the occupant, reducing the threat from side impacts and improving weather protection. In front of the driver is a lockable boot area, which gives significant secure storage for luggage or other items. The 3R-C's designers created a flexible cover that surrounds the upper torso to reduce exposure to bad weather and improving comfort.

The Honda CR-Z sporty hybrid coupe

The European version of the Honda CR-Z makes its debut at the 2010 Geneva International Motor Show. The European version features a 2+2* cabin layout, bespoke LED accented headlights and is only available with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The CR-Z is a unique new car, combining the advantages of a clean, efficient petrol electric hybrid powertrain with a manual transmission and a stylish coupe body. This exciting new coupe will change current perceptions of hybrids, with its engaging chassis and responsive IMA hybrid system.

The overall power output of the engine and IMA system is 124 PS and a healthy 174 Nm of torque. The peak torque figure is identical to that of the 1.8-litre Civic and arrives at just 1500 rpm, a level where previously only turbocharged engines deliver their maximum. Even with torque levels directly comparable with a Civic, the CR-Z emits 35 g/km** less CO2 than its conventionally powered cousin. Other harmful exhaust emissions are also very low and the Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack can be recycled through Honda dealers, at the end of the vehicle's life.

For the first time, a fuel efficient, low emission parallel hybrid system is combined with an ultra precise 6-speed manual gearbox. The manual gearbox is a core part of the driver engagement Honda's engineers wanted to bring to the CR-Z model. The flexibility of Honda's unique IMA parallel hybrid system allows it to be used with a range of transmissions, not just CVT-based gearboxes.

Photos: Honda

(March 2, 2010)

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