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  4. Japan can't get enough of tiny vehicles. Here's Honda's latest: a $15,500 miniature EV truck.

Japan can't get enough of tiny vehicles. Here's Honda's latest: a $15,500 miniature EV truck.

Tom Carter   

Japan can't get enough of tiny vehicles. Here's Honda's latest: a $15,500 miniature EV truck.
  • Honda has unveiled the N-VAN e, a tiny electric truck costing from $15,500.
  • The diminutive truck is targeted at delivery companies and goes on sale in Japan in October.

Japan is famous for its tiny vehicles, known as Kei cars, which are well suited for navigating the narrow streets of crowded cities like Tokyo.

The country's best-selling electric vehicle last year was the Nissan Sakura, a $13,000 electric Kei car that outsold EV giants like Tesla, according to data from auto industry groups compiled by Bloomberg.

Now, Honda is getting into the tiny EV game. The Japanese automaker has unveiled the N-VAN e, a miniature electric truck that starts at 2.44 million yen ($15,500).

It comes as Japan lags behind the rest of the world in transitioning to EVs. Just 2.2% of new passenger cars sold in Japan in 2023 were electric, according to data from industry bodies, compared to 25% in EV pace-setter China, per Nikkei.

Honda's electric truck will be targeted at delivery and construction companies rather than ordinary consumers. The company is already trialing the pocket-sized truck with logistic firm Yamato.

The EV will have a range of 152 miles and will be able to charge in 30 minutes with fast charging, Honda says.

Honda has also attempted to solve the issues EVs have in hot and cold temperatures, installing a battery cooling and heating system to ensure it remains at a stable temperature.

The company says the N-VAN e will also function as a mobile power storage device, with drivers able to use the truck's external power outlet to charge household appliances such as hot plates and electric kettles.

The N-Van can seat between one and four people, depending on which style the buyer selects; each option varies in price. The truck is expected to launch in Japan in October.

Separately, Honda announced it would establish a new company in partnership with fellow Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi.

The new joint venture, Altna, will aim to lower the cost of electric vehicles and extend the lifetime of EV batteries.

Like other Japanese automakers, Honda was slow to get into the EV game.

However, it is now racing to electrify, investing $11 billion in a Canadian EV hub and pledging to have 80% of its vehicle lineup be EVs by 2035 and 100% by 2040.


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