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Honda's "Micro Commuter" Features Swappable Bodies

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the look-you-want dept.

Transportation 96

Zothecula writes "Further evidence of the coming fragmentation of personal transportation came today when Honda released details of the next iteration of its electric 'Micro Commuter' prototype which we first saw at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. The new version is close to production-ready, and concentrates the battery and functionality of the micro EV below the floor, enabling the vehicle's body to be easily changed to accommodate different functionality."

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GM (2)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41987267)

GM was working on something like that yonks ago.

Re:GM (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41987917)

Yep, read it in SciAm maybe 20yrs ago along with the "crazy" prediction that tar sand woould become economically viable when oil hit the $!00 mark (which IIRC they said would be ~2010). They were also taking about fuel cells rather than conventional batteries, Honda and BMW seem to be looking at that piece of the future pie but the whole industry is rather incestous at the wholesale level.

Re:GM (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41987987)

Yeah, It's called the Hy-Wire [wikipedia.org] but it's more like haywire (yeah I wrote that) because theirs didn't leave room for normal seating positions, it stole your leg drop and mandated a high sill as well.

What I can't remember is the car that you could convert between hatch and sedan, or was it hatch and coupe? It was Japanese and it was in the 80s or 90s. It wasn't the pulsar sportbak, was it?

Re:GM (1)

michael_cain (66650) | about 2 years ago | (#41988591)

Also the Trexa platform [facebook.com] .

Re:GM (1)

tatman (1076111) | about 2 years ago | (#41991563)

yeah I was a bit bummed when they pulled the plug. I think it would be very useful to swap out bodies.

3 Bodies that no one wants. (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41987269)

Pure car-show fodder.

I think the "bondi-blue" '98 iMac model is the most humourous. A little late to the party, no?

Re:3 Bodies that no one wants. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41987379)

3 Bodies that no one wants

Yeah really. Where's the hearse [wegotways.com] ?

Re:3 Bodies that no one wants. (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41987397)

Really.

If guys want to wet-dream over some car they will never get to own, anyways? Grow some balls! [gizmag.com]

Re:3 Bodies that no one wants. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#41988417)

Sorry, but some of are secure in our manhood enough to not make our cars an extension of our dicks.

I always wanted a decent small car. Never saw the need for anything bigger, or pay for a motor that can go 200+ mph when I do 80mph in my area max and 35-45 mph on avg.

Re:3 Bodies that no one wants. (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | about 2 years ago | (#41988603)

In order to keep power, one must have the trappings of power.

That's why, and a reason why many very wealthy people keep expensive toys. It's not just because they want them, it's so they can keep their status and continue to be as successful as they are.

Re:3 Bodies that no one wants. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#41988841)

Warren Buffett and Ross Perot are the answer to that:)

Of course, if you're wealth comes from fashions, in one sense or another, I suppose it can be helpful.

Re:3 Bodies that no one wants. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41990327)

Re:3 Bodies that no one wants. (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41990571)

Yes. That's what I'm talkin' bout!

Re:3 Bodies that no one wants. (3, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41987955)

Pure car-show fodder.

Not quite, in a lot of places people want a small personal commuter that is easy to park and wont use much fuel. Not everywhere is like the US where everyone drives massive mum-tanks (SUV's) across multiple lanes whilst on the phone and stuffing their face.

However this is a concept car by the looks of it.

I can see this becoming big in Asia, in Japan Kei Cars [wikipedia.org] are already popular because they are cheap and small. This concept is perfect for a single commuter to go to and from work in, a good alternative to riding a motorbike and getting changed at work (no matter how much you prepare, it still sucks getting rained on). With a rising middle class in China and India and already congested streets, a smaller one man commuter would be very much in demand. Honda see's this (not to mention other companies like Tata)

But the swappable bodies would be more of a manufacturing boon. Build one wheel base, then 3 bodies. you benefit from having increased economies of scale with the wheel base production and fewer factories required to produce 3 different cars.

Re:3 Bodies that no one wants. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41990317)

However this is a concept car by the looks of it.

It looks like they took a Smart car and put different body panels on the nose/wheels. The roof/windshield are exactly the same...

How unsafe could that be? (1)

mangu (126918) | about 2 years ago | (#41990537)

With very small cars there's always the question of safety.

Now imagine a car that, besides being small and lightweight, is also designed to be taken apart.

Re:How unsafe could that be? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41990599)

Pop a wheelie!

Re:How unsafe could that be? (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 2 years ago | (#41992179)

with a top speed of 50, this is not intended for the US and the ideas of minimal safety are a bit different in Japan (not least because the driving styles are entirely different).

Re:How unsafe could that be? (1)

phaggood (690955) | about 2 years ago | (#41993701)

I live in a small college town (> 100k) with a daily commute that takes me nowhere near a freeway, thus 50mph is way more than I need going to/from work. Keeping my 5yr old Saturn to run and down the freeway would satisfy all my travel needs. Unfortunately, the sticker-shock on these exotic powerplant cars means it'd probably cost a multiple of what I paid for the Saturn which begs the question - what kind of crazy math do I have to do to get a decent ROI on the car's purchase?

Re:How unsafe could that be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992465)

What is it with Americans and their need to drive tanks?

Re:How unsafe could that be? (1)

nil0lab (94268) | about 2 years ago | (#41994367)

Safety is not as correlated to size as you might think. I hit a car parked on an interstate freeway and walked away with mere scratches and soreness after my Smart Fortwo went spinning like a theme park teacup ride. Now every time I drive me 2nd Smart, I see big sheet-metal cars (most of the cars out there) as deathtraps. Next time you see a bad accident, note the crumpled sheet-metal. I am very glad to have a car without that.

Looks (1, Interesting)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41987295)

All these "commuter" cars are ugly as sin. Why can't we get "commuter" cars that aren't straight chairs with wheels? Get something sleek and futuristic looking and I'll consider buying it. (Like that Lamborghini in the icons above... a single seat, well performing low slung vehicle.)

Re:Looks (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41987319)

Err, I didn't mean to infer that the Lambo had one seat, but make something like it with a single seat...

Re:Looks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987833)

Did you mean to imply it?

Re:Looks (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41987869)

No, I didn't mean to imply it either. ;)

Re:Looks (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41987939)

make something like it with a single seat

A Duccati motorcycle?

Re:Looks (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41987321)

You should search for 'smart car Lamborghini body kit'

The car is still an overpriced POS, but it looks better.

Re:Looks (2, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41987607)

It's important that the "cool" factor be removed from cars. They need to be reduced to the status level of grocery store shopping carts. The very concept of "a pleasure drive" needs to disappear and become as irrelevant to modern life and as hoary-sounding as a hayride or the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Re:Looks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987805)

It's important that the "cool" factor be removed from cars.

Good luck finding a company to make a generic "car" just for you...because not many other people want a featureless appliance to drive around in.

Re:Looks (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41987921)

I'm not sure I understand removing the "cool" factor from things. Things have cool factors. Laptops, TVs, houses... appliances even. People want things to look good and perform well. We don't want to all be driving around in the same boring car everyone else has. (Well, some of us don't...)

I kind of get the idea, but until cars are fully driver-less and the interior comforts outweigh the outward appearance and or cars are no longer owned by people but rented by the mile traveled... the look of the car will be a major factor.

Re:Looks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987977)

Some of us in other parts of the world haven't given up on either. Maybe you need a car analogy.

Re:Looks (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41988049)

It's important that the "cool" factor be removed from cars...the very concept of "a pleasure drive" needs to disappear.

Agree, I'm writing to my polycritter while we speak! We must stop this pleasurable activity immediately before people start enjoying themselves! What's next on our anti-vainity hit list? - Hair gel? - I hate smarmy barstards with shinny hair, who the fuck do they thing they are!

Re:Looks (2)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 years ago | (#41987771)

I noticed in the article that one group that may benefit from this tiny commuter car was senior citizens. Really? Can you imagine a senior citizen getting in or out of that tiny thing? I'm a 6' 250 lb 59 year old with arthritic knees and artificial hips, and I have trouble getting in an out of a Volkswagen Jetta. By the time I'm 70 I'll have trouble getting in a Cadillac!

Re:Looks (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 2 years ago | (#41987957)

Almost no-one in Japan is that big. Also, their elderly get around much easier than ours. My wife's grandmother is 85 yet she still puts in 4-6 hours a day in her fields, growing fruits and veggies. She's also about 5' tall.

Re:Looks (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41988033)

We can't help it that you're a big fat oaf. These cars care made in Japan with the average Japanese as their target market. Not fat Americans, stuffing their fat faces with big macs and acting like the world owes them 3 tons of steel meant to hold 8 passengers so they carry their singular fat asses around in.
 
When you stop treating vehicles like fashion statements maybe the rest of us will start to give a fuck about what you think.

Re:Looks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992583)

There is a report out there claiming that Americans wants their cars to be tanks on the outside and wombs on the inside.

Re:Looks (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 2 years ago | (#41993427)

Actually, I can also see this being very useful here in the USA. There's lots of medium to large cities here that have little or no public transportation where these cars would be perfect. The only trouble you may have is getting people to accept driving them, but I think with time it could work. I for one would gladly drive one of these for my work commute. I'd even consider selling my current vehicle and simply renting a car when I need to drive further. I currently have a 6-mile drive through the city (Columbus OH) that takes around 20 minutes (up to 40 if traffic is really bad) so as you can imagine I don't get the best fuel economy.

Re:Looks (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41988529)

Not to worry, the good 'ol US manufacturers are busily perfecting the Senior Moment Vehicle. [wikipedia.org]

USA! USA! USA!

Re:Looks (1)

adolf (21054) | about 2 years ago | (#41989357)

If you're 59 and already have artificial hips, then you are a zombie, and the NHC (New Healthful Race) does not care a whit for your needs*.

*: Because without modern medicine, you'd have already failed, and even in the best case driving a car would not be an option for you.

Re:Looks (1)

mvdwege (243851) | about 2 years ago | (#41990213)

If you'd seriously dieted, you might have a larger choice in cars.

Re:Looks (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41987975)

All these "commuter" cars are ugly as sin. Why can't we get "commuter" cars that aren't straight chairs with wheels? Get something sleek and futuristic looking and I'll consider buying it. (Like that Lamborghini in the icons above... a single seat, well performing low slung vehicle.)

I have such a beast.

It's called a Honda Integra (Acura RSX in North America) It cost a lot to run and insure.

People buy commuter cars to commute, not to look good. Cheap and cheery is more important to them than looks. If you want looks drop $85 K on a Porshce, aesthetics will always come second to practicality.

Re:Looks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41988235)

Don't forget safety. Those little bubble things spin around like tops in a wreck with a typical vehicle, tossing the occupants around like a shaken baby. Yes, the crumple zones do absorb kinetic energy, but KE != P, and the momentum does go through, and can cause secondary wrecks where a larger vehicle would stay put.

There is a market for the bubble things, and that is Europe, Japan, or other countries where the roads are narrow, speeds low, and cars tend to be smaller. On the other side of the pond, someone in an average midsize Honda hits one of those, and it is game over.

Now, when we move to self-driving cars, the little death traps will be useful since it won't be a drunk behind the wheel, so wrecks will be minimized, but for now, one needs something with at least a tip of the hat to safety.

Re:Looks (1)

rvw (755107) | about 2 years ago | (#41990609)

All these "commuter" cars are ugly as sin. Why can't we get "commuter" cars that aren't straight chairs with wheels? Get something sleek and futuristic looking and I'll consider buying it. (Like that Lamborghini in the icons above... a single seat, well performing low slung vehicle.)

Like the Renault Twizy [renault.com] ?

Re:Looks (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41991895)

Nah, that's still a very tall and short wheelbase car. The car in the upper banner looks quite nice (even though I'm sure it's a two seater... it looks like an Audi R8 with that stripe down the side but I'm sure it's a concept...)

Re:Looks (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 2 years ago | (#41992187)

Eh. I've been in a Lamborghini. Beautiful exterior, but I don't like craning my neck enough to drive from a lawn chair :)

I am super-tired of small-EV prototypes (3)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 2 years ago | (#41987421)

When can I freakin' get one???

3-wheeler, covered, a bit of seat heat and minimal climate control, and a cheap base price like other tiny cars.

Hello..... I've been waiting at least 5 years and seeing an endless stream of cool non-production car-show concepts and test prototypes.

"Show me the MINI !"

Re:I am super-tired of small-EV prototypes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987589)

In spite of the hype around EV's they haven't really pushed over the hump into both producible, affordable and safe vehicles.

Government subsidies have gotten them into reach of those who are willing to pay the premium (and I personally believe that the government should butt out of this) and gotten sub-standard models into production. This has actually lessened interest by showing sub-par performance and questionable (depending on which hype you believe) safety with battery packs and, yes, I have my doubts about the veracity of the danger of batteries spontaneously combusting in ontherwise functional vehicles.

But I have had the occasional alkaline burst on me so my trust of batteries is also not 100%

I am sidelined here, though, since I am unwilling to play guinea pig for either manufacturers or for our benefactors of green tech in the government.

Re:I am super-tired of small-EV prototypes (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41988083)

"Show me the MINI !"

Here you go [wikimedia.org]

Just keep in mind they pretty much stop running if it rains.

Re:I am super-tired of small-EV prototypes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992651)

Odd, given that Morris is a British brand.

Re:I am super-tired of small-EV prototypes (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41997477)

Odd, given that Morris is a British brand.

Not really, British brands are notorious for bad engineering.

Re:I am super-tired of small-EV prototypes (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#41988387)

I don't like 3 wheelers. 4 wheels is much more stable, no matter how you look at it. Consider it a bit of necessary redundancy on a plane.

Re:I am super-tired of small-EV prototypes (1)

toddestan (632714) | about 2 years ago | (#42017011)

The problem is that with the way the laws are, they'll never be able to sell a 4-wheeler like that as it will never meet the safety standards for cars, so they have to make a 3-wheeler so that it classifies as a motorcycle. The law of unintended consequences strikes again...

Re:I am super-tired of small-EV prototypes (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 2 years ago | (#41992219)

yeah, this would work for my daily commute with a bit of rerouting to avoid the freeway. Not so much for my wife, who actually needs to carry cargo sometimes, but that's why she has a CRV instead of a Civic :)

anyone remember demolition man? (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#41987511)

And there Brave New World dystopia future with no sex, no booze, and really really crappy cars.

Its here. At least for cars.

Re:anyone remember demolition man? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987729)

...no sex... Its[sic] here. At least for cars

And pussy [slashdot.org]

Re:anyone remember demolition man? (1)

snookums (48954) | about 2 years ago | (#41988139)

Brave New World ... no sex

I think you need to go and read it again.

The dystopian future of Demolition Man might have been without sex and booze, but the Brave New World kept the populace happy with a weekly drug ration and regular orgies.

Even more (2)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#41989531)

In Brave New World everybody had a social life, regular sex, drugs if they wanted them, free medicine and organised games. Huxley thought he was describing a dystopia, but for 95% of the population at the time he wrote he was describing an unattainable paradise. Who would worry about dick-extendermobiles when all the women are beautiful and forever young?

Re:Even more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992729)

Because the drugs shut down all critical thought, and the dystopia notion of the time was related to thoughtless conformity.

About fucking time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987525)

Why don't all car companies make components to standard, interchangeable sizes?
It's bad enough different car maker's parts aren't compatible, but not are only the same car maker's different model components not compatible, even different years of the same model aren't compatible! How did it get to be this ridiculous? ...and yet we've all just accepted it and gone along with it for decades.
If one car manufacturer had the balls to make standard components that have a level of compatibility across all years of all models then they'll have my business.

Re:About fucking time (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41987587)

FYI you can put a small block Chevy in _any_ vehicle (any pre-smog vehicle in CA).

Some take more work then others.

Re:About fucking time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987821)

They do, It's called a VW Beetle. Or was until the front engine versions came out.

Re:About fucking time (2)

cynyr (703126) | about 2 years ago | (#41988355)

95% of all maintenance Saturn S series parts are the same from 1992-2004. Things like the body panels are not interchangeable between all models, but i suspect a lot of them are (92-97 front ends, and 98 and later front ends). It's really a shame saturn basically packed up in 2004-2005 when they became mostly a GM re-badger.

Re:About fucking time (1)

kryliss (72493) | about 2 years ago | (#41991495)

The problem is that the greedy fat bastards don't want you to have a cheap interchangeable replacement that you can do yourself. They want you to take all of your car problems to their "certified technician" so they can charge you an ungodly amount to change out some simple piece of plastic that is just a hair different than last year's simple piece of plastic.

Car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987535)

Looks like a gokart now...

Don't be too disappointed... (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 2 years ago | (#41987549)

The last body is actually a battle robot.

It is Japan, people.

Re:Don't be too disappointed... (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#41990291)

The last body is actually a battle robot.

It is Japan, people.

How many of these robots does it take to stop Godzilla? Actually that seems like a decent idea for a new SI unit: The GSP or Godzilla Stopping Power.

Further Evidence (0)

simonbp (412489) | about 2 years ago | (#41987571)

IMHO it's just further evidence that small electric vehicles are, and always will be, really dorky looking and totally impractical. Though I'm sure all five people in the target market will respond to this post.

Re:Further Evidence (2)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41987669)

Honestly I would just be scared to drive one if *all* other vehicles on the road were not exactly the same. Think about what would happen if you pulled out in front of a Hummer, or a Semi. They'd have to pull out the fine toothed comb just to gather bits and pieces of you to send along to your family.

Re:Further Evidence (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987801)

Not much different than if you were driving the Hummer, and pulled out in front of the Semi.

And the same effect is illustrated by Semi's pulling out in front of freight trains.

Re:Further Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41988089)

Freight trains run on tracks, so they don't creep up behind your bumper.

Re:Further Evidence (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#41987983)

Charles Darwin would probably have something to say about people who pull out in front of a semi. It has often been noted that as tools, equipment, and vehicles grow more idiot-proof, the world just produces better idiots.

Personally, I ride a little 1/4 ton vehicle, that gets about 53 mpg, as opposed to some two-ton hulk that gets maybe 20 mpg.

This one is almost exactly like mine: http://i740.photobucket.com/albums/xx50/StrayyDog/fontannacemetarypost.jpg [photobucket.com]

Or, you can browse what members are riding, to find one more to your taste:
http://cx500forum.com/index.php?/topic/96-members-bikes/ [cx500forum.com]

Motorcycles have a way of thinning the herd some. Fools don't last very long on two wheels. Pulling out in front of tractor trailers is one sure way of becoming a statistic, on a bike, in a car, or even in another tractor trailer.

Re:Further Evidence (1)

lightBearer (2692183) | about 2 years ago | (#41996217)

I for one ride a 1/100 ton vehicle that gets infinite miles/gallon and do so in all types of traffic. It can even carry cargo -- it's record towing is 3/4 of a ton (about 1500 lbs) The trick is to be well lit and predictable. Above all else, PREDICTABLE. A little planning concerning lane positioning, when I'm going to turn and actually using my signals (hands) makes riding in traffic around vehicles that can turn me into a grease stain safe.

Driving one of these little smart cars? Hell, as long as they maintain power and others can see me, I'm OK with that.

Re:Further Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41988005)

Smaller is only better when you are involved in an accident with something much bigger. In every other situation, they are far better at avoiding accidents in the first place because they handle better and are much more maneuverable than anything big. Depending on where you look, 55-65% of crashes are single vehicle. That still leaves a lot of multiple vehicle though.

The overall statistics are hard to negotiate though as the type of car and its purpose determines the overall actual death rate. For quite a few years in the early 2000's, the Camaro has the highest death rate per mile. It handles great but the driving HABITS is what is killing them, not the car itself. The Chevy Astro van had one of the lowest rates. Not that it handled well but its not something you are taking less risks in. Put the drivers and their habits of the Astro into the Camaro and you'd have the ultimate least death rate per mile combination.

Re:Further Evidence (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#41990339)

If you pulled out in front of a Hummer, you'd kill its occupants. You might wonder why you were suddenly facing the wrong way, surrounded by body parts and fragments of cheap crappy 4x4.

Japanese Swiss Army EVO? (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | about 2 years ago | (#41987681)

I don't think so...

Meh wrong answer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987765)

If the %#$!^ auto manufactures got their &$#* together we could easily see practical EV tech. The answer simply is to have universal interchangeable battery packs that can easily be swapped out at electrical filling stations. Unfortunately everyone is trying to re-invent the wheels instead of making the change from an oil based distribution system possible.

Why not have it so you can either recharge it yourself or just swap out the battery cell if you need to on the road? To answer my own question the jerks are not thinking outside the box that the oil companies have put them in in the first place.

Re:Meh wrong answer! (1)

cynyr (703126) | about 2 years ago | (#41988425)

just a quick series of questions.

How many kW in a battery pack?
What charge time would you like the filling station to need?
How many kW/h is that?
How many batteries would a "gas station" need to change out per day (assume every diver needs to swap every other day on average)?
How many kW/h is that total?
Assume that 1/2 of those batteries are swapped during the two rush hours and are charged in between, what electrical service does each "gas station" need? (hint, fsking huge).

As for charging yourself, how do you want to wait around a "gas station" while your battery charges? assuming 460/3/60 power, each cable is still huge to get the times down to under 5 minutes, even assuming you could charge modern battery tech that quickly. (sorry I did math all day at work similar to this and my second rum and coke is just not letting me do it now.)

Re:Meh wrong answer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41988857)

just a quick question.

WHY THE FUCK DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POWER (kW) AND ENERGY (kW*h) UNITS?!

Born too stupid to learn, skipped high school physics, or what?

Re:Meh wrong answer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41988899)

How many batteries would a "gas station" need to change out per day (assume every diver needs to swap every other day on average)?

WTF would you assume such a silly thing? If an EV doesn't carry enough energy for your daily commute and typical errands, and/or you don't have the ability to charge it overnight at home, you wouldn't buy that EV in the first place because it makes no bloody sense for you. You would only use charging/battery-swapping stations for infrequent road trips.

Also:
kWh=energy (typical use: battery)
kW=power (typical use: motor or battery charger)
kW/h=rate of change in power (not commonly useful)

Re:Meh wrong answer! (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 2 years ago | (#41989153)

As for charging yourself, how do you want to wait around a "gas station" while your battery charges?

Of course not, you'd let it recharge overnight while you sleep, just like you do with your cell phone.

Given the 60 mile range on this vehicle, you won't be making any long trips with it anyway, so I don't think that recharging will be an issue.

bodies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987895)

"Only in America: disposable plastic bodies!" --Count Dracula, examining the loot from robbing a blood bank.

Oh, I get it, the "commuter" is a car, not a person...

plastic bodies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41987971)

"Only in America: plastic disposable bodies!" --Count Dracula, examining the loot from robbing a blood bank.

Oh, I get it: the "commuter" is a car, not a human.

WTF? Fragmentation? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#41988037)

"Further evidence of the coming fragmentation of personal transportation

Erm, the blogger doesn't not seem to understand the words.
* Fragmentation
* Evidence
* Personal Transportation

When was the car industry ever been unified and standardised. We have umpteen number of trademarked and patented systems for Variable Valve Timing (VTEC - Honda, CVVT - Hyundai, ZETEC - Ford, VVTi - Toyota, VEL - Nissan).

Also people have demanded, from Henry Fords first mass produced car, different types of cars. Some people like big 4WD's, others like sporty Japanese coupes, medium sized sedans, small hatchbacks and so forth (I still cant understand why people want SUV's). This concept is more about increasing choice to the customer whilst reducing the number of factories to produce the car. How many factories does Honda have to produce the various types of Civic?

If anything, this is an attempt at de-fragmentation of the car industry.

Re:WTF? Fragmentation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41988661)

Too lazy to login, posting AC. Just wanted to note that these aren't all variable valve timing in the same sense. VTEC historically uses multiple cam lobes rather than just a modification of timing advanced or retarded, for example.

Case mods (1)

Narrowband (2602733) | about 2 years ago | (#41988109)

Which version comes with the see-through side panels and LED-lit motor fan? Oh, and don't forget those cold cathode UV lights!

Old time idea (4, Informative)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 2 years ago | (#41988783)

I don't know if anybody here remembers the Volkswagen Thing. Modular body for different purposes. The vehicle is probably older than most here..

Re:Old time idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41989347)

YEP (now vote me up) I remember the kit cars in Florida in the 1970's (prolly why stanley meyer chose VW) it took either two months or two years to ship, I helped build, the green 1927 Bugatti with the Jesus Christ Superstar in front/above of the triangle shaped gas tank in Sacramento.

anyway. neat lessons. Shit I should dig up a mother fucking JC Whitney catalog about now . Remember the chrome parts. There were two kind of builders of these kit cars. People who fucked them up using vice grips on chrome parts and people who took their time getting chrome parts. Waiting for parts to arrive that even three mortgage would be signed before the artistic but past pentagram post backordered part ordered ever arrived. Listened to Hotel California FOREVER in a loop

Worse than buying parts for a vintage hog, who would have laughed at us, except we were making something new after all.

A lot of persnickity bs. I met the guy with the BLUE ONE in CARMEL VALLEY CA, I don't think the California CHP would ever allow the brooklyn windshields. They wanted wipers! LOL we said, it's a motorcycle, WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES. The best it ever had was a temp daylight tag to move it Point A - B DMV pre-cog'd. Waaaa, never got in trouble driving it though. Always tried to be safe.

Re:Old time idea (1)

Optic7 (688717) | about 2 years ago | (#41997855)

It was probably based on the VW Beetle chassis, as VW typically did (and does). The classic Beetle has a removable body as well. I saw it done once and it's pretty trippy. Disconnect it from the chassis and you can lift the whole body straight up. Probably why it was a popular car to convert to buggies.

test (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41989139)

Test

Re:test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41996151)

"Test"

Welcome to the internets.

US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41989235)

Driving one of these on US roads is just asking to be creamed. In an ideal world, they'd be great little get-around vehicles. In the practical world, this makes you a little row boat in a harbor full of freighters.

Cool headline! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41989825)

I can't wait for this technology to be made available to normal-sized commuters!
Just imagine the reactions of your office mates if you walk in in a brand-new body...

They Did It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41990705)

Until now I would have said it was impossible, but they did it! They actually made a vehicle that is uglier than the Honda Element.

Astounding!

question (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | about 2 years ago | (#41991797)

What's the point of the covers on the wheels? Seems really extraneous.

Swappable bodies, at last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41992511)

Oh, it's the vehicle bodies...

Bummer.

Nobody will give two shits until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41996939)

They start producing them for under $10,000

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