Honda has showcased a 3D printed car with an electric engine, produced jointly with Japanese tech firm Kabuku.
The car is of a similar size and, to some extent design and layout, to the Renault Twizy, except the rear passenger seat of the Renault is replaced by a cargo area, which makes the Honda a single-seater. It's just 2495mm long, 1280mm wide, 1545mm tall and weighs 600kg.
Underneath, the car uses a lightweight framework to keep weight down, while much of the car’s bodywork is 3D printed. Honda and Kabuku claim that the 3D printing process reduces the cost and time of production and that the prototype is ideal for mass production.
The car’s micro-van setup and compact electric vehicle architecture mean that its intended purpose is for local couriers. Honda and Kabuku did not provide a definitive range for the car, but did describe the car's intended usage as "for short-range trips up to approximately 80 km (50 miles)". The car's top speed is 43mph, and it takes around 7 hours or 3 hours to charge, depending on whether a 100v or 200v charger is used.
Usage for the car could easily be altered though, according to Honda and Kabuku, because the design is quickly customisable, and its altered components can be quickly produced thanks to the 3D printing technique.
It’s also as yet unnamed, but will make its full debut at the Japanese tech exhibition, CEATEC 2016.