Honda 3D prints a tiny electric van for a critical mission: delivering cookies

Ronan Glon
Digital Trends
Honda 3D prints a tiny electric van for a critical mission: delivering cookies
Honda has teamed up with a Japanese firm named Kabuku to design, print, and build an electric delivery van named Micro Commuter. It offers 50 miles of range, and it will be used to deliver cookies by a company named Toshimaya.

Honda has teamed up with a Japanese 3D-printing startup named Kabuku to design and build a pint-sized electric vehicle dubbed Micro Commuter.

The Micro Commuter is built on a rigid and lightweight tubular chassis designed in-house by Honda, while the exterior body panels and the panels in the cargo area were all 3D-printed. That doesn’t mean the Micro Commuter is as exciting as a toaster. It features a surprising amount of intricate details including an emblem up front and decorative panels on either side.

Related: Honda’s new CR-V grows up with a sharp design, a nicer interior, and a turbo four

A photo of the Micro Commuter’s bare chassis reveals that it’s a simple, back-to-the-basics machine. Dimensions haven’t been published yet, but it’s narrow enough that a single seat takes up most of the cockpit’s width. It’s equipped with a full instrument cluster, and a small screen on the left side of the three-spoke steering wheel that runs the infotainment system. The placement of the screen might sound odd at first, but keep in mind that Japan is a right-hand-drive market so motorists are accustomed to using their left hand to navigate touch screens in cars.

Power comes from an all-electric drivetrain developed specifically for short-range trips. Technical details are still few and far between, but we know that Honda’s newest battery-powered model offers 50 miles of driving range in ideal driving conditions. That’s plenty for a vehicle that’s not intended to leave crowded urban areas.

The Micro Commuter sounds like a wild, one-off concept designed for the auto show circuit, but Honda explains it was developed for a Japanese company named Toshimaya that makes sake, among other products. The Micro Commuter will be used to deliver a dove-shaped shortbread cookies named Hato sablé, which is Toshimaya’s most famous product.

Want one? You’re out of luck, because as of writing it doesn’t sound like Honda’s life-sized micro machine will be sold to the general public.