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Honda Knocks-off Oregon EV Design?

March 5, 2010

From  Geneva, Switzerland to Creswell, Oregon

Most of the hot auto news burning the netways from the Geneva Auto Show concerns the sizzling high-end EV and hybrid vehicles from Porsche, Ferrari and other premier car makers.

But, I think there’s another interesting, more curious show story about a suspicious similarity between the new Honda 3R Electric Vehicle introduced in Geneva and the BugE made in Oregon since 2007.

There are photos, videos and links to these stories below.

Intelligent Performance From Porsche

The guys from Wired swooned over the 918…

Porsche lifted the sheet on the 918 Spyder on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show and made some huge claims. A few things got our attention right off the bat — 500 horsepower, mid-engine V-8 and two electric motors. Oh … and 78.4 mpg.

As we said, Porsche’s making some big big claims with the 918 Spyder, saying it will do zero to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds, top out at 198 mph and lap the famed Nurburgring in 7.5 minutes, beating even the incredible Carrera GT. All that acceleration comes from the aforementioned V-8 and an electric motor at each end putting down a combined 218 horsepower. Porsche cites 500 horsepower for the car, and we’re guessing that includes the engine and motors combined. That engine, by the way, was pulled from the RS Spyder race-car parts bin and reworked for the 918.

Power from the engine and the rear motor hits the street through a seven-speed PDK gearbox. The front motor turns the front wheels through a fixed ratio. Juice for the motors is stored in a lithium-ion battery mounted behind the seats. No specs on the pack.

Read More…

Also watch Porsche 918 Spyder Concept Promotional Video

Ferrari Goes Fiery Green with the 599

“The Ferrari 599, is a 200mph electric hybrid vehicle that aims to cut pollution and fuel consumption while retaining the brand’s breathtaking acceleration and performance. The two-seater will accelerate from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds – quicker than the standard version – and to 125mph in 10.4 seconds.

The hybrid vehicle – which uses the electric motor to back up a more traditional 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine – even sported a bright metallic green paint to reinforce its environmentally friendly credentials. The aim is to have the green technology as an option across Ferrari’s entire range of cars by 2015.”  Read more coverage from the Daily Mail Online.

More from the show and has Honda been spying in Creswell?

And now from the Friday Fun Department:

On a leaner and greener scale is a sweet looking three wheel NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) being introduced by Honda.

Honda’s 3R Concept EV

“Honda’s new 3R-C concept, a single seat battery-powered electric vehicle made its world debut at the Geneva motor this week. Created by European designers working at Honda’s Research and Design facility in Milan, the three-wheeled 3R-C concept envisions a future minimal urban transport vehicle for one person. The battery electric drivetrain is mounted low in the three wheeled chassis, keeping the center of gravity low and improving stability.” Car Design News

Coincidence? Separated at Birth? Or a Knock-off?

New Honda Looks Like Murphy's BugE

But, wait a minute,  we’ve seen similar vehicles right here in Oregon. Certainly the recently announced Arcimoto, but even closer in design is the BugE which was created and built by Blue Sky Design in Creswell, Oregon.

“The BugE is a collaboration of community based small businesses to combine expertise in a sustainable new project; the BugE Personal Electric Transporter.

This network of small family owned companies in towns such as Creswell, Goshen, Cottage Grove, Junction City, Springfield and Eugene Oregon along with Vendors in Washington, California and North Carolina are all dedicated to providing personal service and attention. Based on neighborly cooperation where everyone knows your name and personal reputation is your best asset.

By building a BugE kit vehicle, you have the opportunity to share in a grass roots community based business network where you can be the local source for BugEs in your community linked to us by a common desire to offer something directly to people who can benefit from a clean low impact alternative vehicle.

One may sit around waiting for major international corporations to act , or we can take action now by building and using a BugE.

We can wait for imported copy cat or alternative products from exploitive factories in third world countries or build them ourselves, keeping money in local hands.” From the BugE web site. Video…

“You must become the change you seek in the world” Gandhi

“The best way to predict your future is to create it” P. Drucker

Meet Mark Murphy

The BugE’s designer, Mark Murphy, has a solid background in transportation design. He also has a courageous sense of product naming to launch a new BugE product from a guy called Murphy. Mark tells his story in this excellent video…

Mark has, “a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Westminster College and is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Industrial Design. He has worked as a transportation designer on a wide variety of advanced concept vehicle projects for General Motors, Chrysler and BMW among others and has been involved with several alternative vehicle projects including two National Endowment of the Arts grants for “Minimum Vehicles”.

Mark Murphy is an organic Oregonian. He is to car design as Ken Kesey ( McMurphy) was to fiction. Mark is a maverick, visionary and evangelist for personal vehicles (PVs). In an article, for AltEnergyMag, Mark wrote:

A hundred years ago the first generation of cars appeared. The popular electric cars were quiet, clean, and reliable. They were the first PVs, but they never made it in the arms race for power, range, and speed. Now, 100 years later, a second generation of PVs is being created with performance and range similar to its ancestors, while meeting the priorities of a society re-defining the meaning of community. Eco is replacing ego. Like the bicycle, the PV will become an indicator species for livability. Perhaps this time the solution to personal mobility has arrived just in time to get us back home again. Read full article…

He also said…

Today we have too many bad choices of transportation, we need smarter, better choices including cost-effective mass transit, efficient commuters and city cars. A new generation of hybrids, electrics and other smaller but more expensive vehicles are on the horizon that will replace today’s automotive endomorphs the way small mammals replaced dinosaurs eons ago. Thousands of thrashing, spinning components and internal combustion will be replaced with solid state electrochemical reactions and electric motors with one moving part.

The end result of this transition will be an urban traffic environment of smaller, lighter vehicles that are much more compatible with pedestrians, bicycles and public transportation. The windfall of free social benefits will include less congestion and more parking, a cleaner environment, with fewer potholes and road damage. The downside of rising energy costs will be offset by the upside of a more human-scaled urban community. Crisis creates incentives for change; our greatest asset is our ability to see the opportunities that lie within.

Innovational Musings will be investigating this suspicious similarity in NEV design and will report back to our readers.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 28, 2010 11:12 pm

    I appreciate you support. We will be looking into this especially if Honda plans on importing it into North America.


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