Honda unveiled its latest concept models, the Sustaina-C and CI-MEV. The Sustaina-C is a vehicle that promises to blend the desires of the individual (EGO) with the pressing needs of the environment (ECO). While many car manufacturers have embarked on the journey of creating eco-friendly vehicles, Honda’s approach stands out due to its innovative use of recycled materials and its homage to classic designs.
At the heart of the Sustaina-C’s design is the use of acrylic resin. This material, known for its excellent weather resistance, surface smoothness, and coloring properties, has been previously employed for automobile taillights among other things. However, until now it was near impossible to reuse so instead it was mostly incinerated, converting it into thermal energy.
Honda, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, has pioneered advanced recycling technologies that not only repurpose used acrylic resin, but also enhance its impact resistance and moldability. This breakthrough allows for the acrylic resin to be used as uncoated body panel material, reducing CO2 emissions and bolstering Honda’s commitment to achieving its “Triple Action to ZERO” goal by 2050.
The Sustaina-C’s vibrant panels are a result of the unique properties of acrylic resin. The resin streaks, a byproduct of the body panel molding process, are cleverly utilized to create unique marble patterns.
But perhaps the most eye-catching feature is the “screen-like tailgate”, a single transparent acrylic panel reminiscent of a smartphone screen. It houses mini LED display lights. These lights serve a dual purpose – illumination and display of the vehicle’s state of charge and messages to other vehicles.
The Sustaina-C and its companion, the Pocket Concept, are reminiscent of the first-generation City and Motocompo. The Pocket, designed as a modern take on the Motocompo, fits snugly in the Sustaina-C’s boot and serves as a battery-powered last-mile solution.
Also unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show was the CI-MEV, a self-driving micro-mobility vehicle designed for areas lacking public transport. This boxy two-seater is equipped with six wide-angle cameras offering a 360-degree view, enabling autonomous driving.