• Feb 24th 2010 at 8:05AM
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Honda 3R-C concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Numerous automakers are trying to tackle the problem of personal urban mobility, including Honda with its latest concept, the 3R-C. As populations age and urban areas get more crowded, the problems of moving people around efficiently seems to get more intractable. Last year's Puma concept, developed by General Motors and Segway, was one early approach to the problem, as was the original Segway and Toyota's i-Swing.

Honda's 3R-C is a fully enclosed single-seat three-wheeler powered by a lithium ion battery mounted low in the chassis to help keep the vehicle stable. The design, created by Honda's Milan studio, even features a lockable cargo space in the area ahead of the driver. The low slung seating position would seem to offer little in the way of forward visibility, but the general idea seems a step in the right direction. The 3R-C debuts in Geneva next week.

[Source: Honda]


Honda 3R-C concept World Debut at Geneva International Motor Show 2010

The revolutionary Honda 3R-C concept will make its world debut in Geneva, alongside the EV-N concept which makes its European debut at the show.

Both the three-wheeled 3R-C concept, which envisions a single occupant vehicle for zero emission commuting, and the EV-N urban concept, draw on Honda's vast working knowledge of vehicles utilising electric motors.


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 3R-C vehicle is in motion, the canopy becomes an enveloping wind-shield that provides the pilot, who sits low in the vehicle, with significant protection from the bodywork and doors.

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 3R-C study was created by European designers working at Honda's Research and Design facility in Milan.


The EV-N concept, which has only previously been shown at the Tokyo Motor Show will make its European debut in Geneva.

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 EV-N concept is envisioned with a Lithium ion battery pack, and small electric motor for predominantly urban use.

FCX Clarity

The two concept vehicles will be displayed alongside Honda's production fuel cell electric vehicle, the FCX Clarity. The World Green Car winner is being leased by customers in Japan and the US, who are experiencing the range, performance and practicality of this unique zero-emission vehicle. Two of the bespoke hydrogen fuelled vehicles are now permanently stationed in Europe for long-term research purposes. Alongside research work, the pair of FCX Claritys are being demonstrated at events like the COP 15 climate summit in Copenhagen, and the Berlin Climate Conference. The FCX Clarity shows Honda's continuing commitment to fuel cell electric vehicles as the ultimate zero harmful emission mobility technology.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks impossible to see out the front of this thing. The windshield bubble needs to extend down a little more. Stability and regenerative braking would be good with 2 front wheels.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is more likely to heavy bike.It looks amazing, costly, awkward, poorly engineered, etc. It's a joke and not an attempt to create a new vehicle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think there is a market for these somewhere between motorbikes and small cars. If sold at a reasonable price they could do really well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda copies the Bug-E, how innovative. "Revolutionary"? LOL!


      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks costly for a one seat vehicle. The front wheel have a big and costly system to turn them. I think that it is a joke. I don't see something good from that, it look strange, costly, ankward, poorly engineered, etc. It's a joke and not an attemp to create a new vehicle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think an enclosed tandem motorcycle (like the carver) makes more sense.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @GoodCheer: Carver is a tilting 3-wheeler, which does the tilting for you, based upon the agressiveness of your steering input. Persu Mobility (formerly Venture Vehicles) is developing their view on the Carver, with hybrid and electric versions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        For you and me maybe (I'd love a carver), but I'll bet a lot of people would be scared of trying to stay balanced on 2 wheels.
      • 5 Years Ago
      hallo..?. hallo..!. I can hear a cavernous echo.... the sound of Honda lost in the wilderness, methinks..

      soemone needs to grab that company by the ba.. sorry, steering whee,l and turn them into the wind......

      • 5 Years Ago
      As a commuter or urban vehicle I think both the 3R-C and the EV-N would have a market in many parts of the US. These would be a breeze to find a parking spot for!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's not really an enclosed vehicle, and yes, the driver can see out the front. This photo gives a little more context: http://jalopnik.com/5479008/honda-3r+c-concept-first-photos/gallery/4
      • 5 Years Ago
      I dunno, it looks less practical than my NmG. Maybe it's their version of a next gen NmG.

      Either way, single seat vehicles are a vanishingly small market segment, no matter how practical, efficient, or great the range. Serious social engineering will be required to get American drivers to see the benefit of a commute only vehicle. Right now Utility is IN, as in sport Utility, crossover Utility, truck Utility, and let's not forget the Utility of multiple seats and huge trunk for those once a year trips to grandma's house.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is one of those "way before it's time" category vehicles. I'm certain that there is a place for personal transport vehicles, but people won't embrace this kind of tech until there is a need for it, and it's cheap.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hmmm. Maybe you're right about it being ahead of its time.

        In that same vein: I want my personal jetpack! Talk about a commuter vehicle!
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