Honda has created a funky electric city car which comes with its own funky PMD
The Honda Sustaina-C is an ultra-modern mini-EV inspired by the classic City hatchback.
Back in the 1980s, Honda solved the problem of the first- and last-mile commute by packing a foldable scooter into the boot of a compact three-door runabout. The 1.2-litre City with a 50cc Motocompo in its hatchback trunk became a cult car and was particularly compelling in turbocharged form. It was a clever city car in more ways than one.
Today, four decades later at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show (previously known as Tokyo Motor Show), the power of past dreams has given Honda the mojo to reimagine yesterday's City as tomorrow's Sustaina-C, complete with an onboard PMD (personal mobility device) to make urban motoring easier and also more enjoyable.
The PMD is called Honda Pocket, but it remains to be seen whether it can rocket away and keep up with the quicker PMDs used for food delivery.
It certainly looks like a well-made, supplementary mode of transport for the Sustaina-C driver who needs to go car-lite and ride the rest of the way to/from his parked hatchback, or who simply wants to play on the pavement with his/her Honda Pocket.
It may not be as tiny as the Honda Motocompacto, the electric successor to the Motocompo capable of 24km/h and a range of 19 kilometres, but the Pocket promises to be zippy and sturdy.
Both the Pocket and Sustaina-C use recycled acrylic resin for their body panels. The material was specially developed to be flexible yet difficult to break, while maintaining acrylic's weather-resistant properties. It is left unpainted, with the desired colours and patterns realised by the molding process.
The tailgate of the Sustaina-C is another technical highlight. It is a single panel of acrylic integrated with the rear window and multi-function tail-lights. Those lights use mini-LEDs to double as a mobile display, which can flash images and messages. Courteous Japanese drivers would probably text "After You" and "Arigato", while Singaporean drivers could go with "Don't Tailgate Leh" and "Give Way Lah".
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