Another Honda Bombshell: 3R-C single-person electric concept


February 24, 2010

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Honda is set to release yet another revolutionary personal mobility concept at the Geneva Show next week. Following the company’s revolutionary 10 kilogram U3-X monocycle with its even more revolutionary HOT omni-directional driving wheel system show at Tokyo Motor Show last October, Honda has released the first details of its new 3R-C - a minimalist urban electric vehicle for one person.

Perhaps equally as significantly, Geneva will also see the European debut of the EV-N concept it also showed at the Tokyo Motor Show, indicating the forward-thinking EV ideas on exhibit in Tokyo were far more than a flight of fancy.

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.

The 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 is a small, stylish city car with solar panels in the roof, which can charge the car while it is parked, and two of Honda’s U3-X, electric personal mobility devices on 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. mobility technology.


I love the look of this! Way to go Honda- nice design elements for sure!

Facebook User

Interesting, but why is it necessary to \"provide the pilot... with significant protection from the bodywork and doors?\"

What\'s so dangerous about the bodywork and doors??

William Lanteigne

I wonder what it would take to convince Honda to just provide a full canopy for this trike?

I am anxiously watching the industry for a 1 or 2 seat plug-in or plug-in hybrid trike that will provide the rider with a safety cell, environmental controls and protection from the weather, go at least highway speeds, and having about 60 or 70 mile range. I enjoyed riding a bike for a while (still do, really) but slick roads, broken bones, & road rash have cured me of any real interest in all-weather commuting on a two wheeler. This beastie is painfully close to what I am now watching for. I\'d even appreciate the topless configuration for those fair weather rides.

Bob Ehresman

There is NO way this thing would clear the speed bump just outside my street.. Ed


Must be annoying to ride when the top of the windscreen ends just in the middle of your field of vision.


I wonder where the water drains from if you don\'t close th canopy in time in rain?


@ Bob Ehresman I\'m right there with you on your points buddy.

Very sad to see Vanderbrink with it\'s Carver went bankrupt, and although I like it\'s licensee Venture One\'s concepts, it\'s pretty obvious that they\'re dead in the water too.

Let\'s hope someone develops and markets a enclosed three wheeler that is for every day street use.

btw, for anyone not wearing a VISORED helmet, that windshield would go right through the driver\'s face in a crash or even hard stop. Whats that going to cost you Honda?

Keep trying and good luck though!


Mr. \"Ed\", Your confusing privacy walls with speed bumps buddy. Make sure your still on the pavement! ;>)

Will, the tink

Do it once, a three-wheeled car, convertible, for a single passenger. This does not look like anything! Much less with a bomb shell without the overlay coating.


\"protection from doors and bodywork\" means, I believe \"protection thanks to doors...\" There is however, the posibility of bouncing off the walls in a small space. We fixed that in racing vehicles long ago and I have been in cars using owner installed full race harness. Good on the head, which seat/shoulder belts leave free to whiplash injury.

This is a good \"concept\" vehicle, but I\'d never use it even for free as stated all the common sense flaws commented above. And then theres the luggage space issue.

Why are all new offerings sexed up and made for the unreal world? I\'d like some help in getting a real world common sense vehicle made here in the USA, a no tabs no license electric hybrid with pedals.


Problem with the fairings of the design which do not provide adequate ground clearance. Not unusual as I have the same problem with my 2007 Prius.

What is great is that these concept vehicles attempt to distill what is really needed for taking an individual from their home to work or school and not attempt to make an all in one vehicle like a 3 ton American SUV that gets 12mpg and costs $50,000 to buy and a lot of space to store when not in use.

Why should a household with two workers and two school children need to support two to three 4 passenger vehicles? In other countries households get by with only one car for their weekend travel as they can use public transit for the majority of their trips.

For a go to work vehicle all one needs is room for one person and a purse and a briefcase. That is about all the space on has on motorcycles and scooters and cars like the Smart car and the Miata which are in widespread use today.

The primary safety issue is the quiet motor and drive train of electric two wheeled vehicles. If they cannot be seen and cannot be heard then it increases the probability that a car will change lanes and accidentally drive over them. That is where the Chinese approach of providing dedicated roadways for these light vehicles is the only sensible one. We could easily do this in the USA but it would mean eliminating the taxpayer subsidized parking spaces on city streets.

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