Honda MC-8 electric micro car not destined for U.S.
Specifically designed for a ‘pending’ micro-car auto classification in Europe and Japan, Honda, a company of many firsts released the ‘concept’ MC-Beta in 2013 for testing in Japan.
As part of Honda’s “A Greener World” philosophy, three Cities in Japan and Toshiba corporation has joined the largest motor manufacturer in the world; in its ongoing study of future personal transportation modes, and how these micro vehicles may fit into the cities of the future.
While the mission statement has grand implications, the MC-Beta or MC-8 as covered by Torque News is very small. To comply with Europe and Japan’s pending micro-car classification the vehicle may weigh no more than 400 KG ( 880 lb) * excluding battery weight and produce no more than 15 kw, or 20 h.p..
Several inches shorter and narrower than an EV Smart Car, the MC-8 can be remotely parked with an app from your smartphone.
Developed utilizing Honda Motor Sports technology, the frame is tube and body, plastic composite. The manufacture claims that this staggered seating, two place personal transport will carry two adults in relative comfort while achieving ample if not a bit ‘lack-luster’ performance.
This low output (10 kw) motor will achieve a top speed of 70 kph (43 mph) and clock 0-50 kph in 10 seconds. The good news is that the MC-8 has an average stated range of 80 km between charges. Of course as with all EVs mileage will vary with weather, average speed and driving terrain. The narrow width to height ratio of the micro adds to body roll tendency and short-channeled ( wheelbase) chop associated with all micro-cars.
However those that have driven this smallest of EVs find it to be a viable, fun mode of intercity and neighborhood transportation. That’s what Honda designed the car to do.
The Japan MC-8 is equipped with a 100 and 200 amp dual mode charger and can be charged in 6 or 3 hours respectively on standard house current.
For our Electric Car fans, while the MC-8 has been deemed” too small” for America by the automotive press, we find that assessment to be a bit too broad.
License it, and they will buy it.
We believe that the future is bright for a high tech, next generation( small) battery cell powered people mover. Back in the late 1990s this writer took a ride in an electric Corbin Sparrow down in Hollister California. The Sparrow was a very viable, mold injected mono frame 1 place 3 wheeled electric car; licensed in California as a motorcycle.
With unlimited torque and CV drive, the Sparrow was a thrill to operate. At that time Bruce was demanding $18,500 for the base car. His concept of pay -forward custom manufacturing stifled the evolution of the Robin. Honda has not released an estimated msrp for the MC-8
Bruce Corbin didn’t have the capital to push the concept to the next level of mass production. Honda does.