Honda EV-STER takes up where Tesla left off

At the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, Honda showed its concept EV-STER roadster, a lightweight electric sports car with fast acceleration.

The EV-STER concept uses carbon fiber to shed weight. Derek Fung/CNET

Tesla may be dropping production of its Roadster, but Honda seems to have taken up the gauntlet with this new electric concept.

The EV-STER is a concept electric car unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. Like the Tesla Roadster, it is a two-seater with a carbon fiber body to reduce weight, but that is where the similarities end.

Honda claims a range for the EV-STER of only 100 miles, with acceleration timed at 5 seconds to 60 km/h (37 mph).

Styling takes some cues from the CR-Z, with a big dose of futuristic design thrown in. The driver uses a yoke to steer rather than a wheel, and the cockpit has displays geared toward the electric power train.

The driver's seat is of a different color than the passenger seat, a choice we have seen in a few other concept cars recently, suggesting that in the future people will have trouble discerning right from left.

Although it represents no electric power train breakthroughs, the EV-STER concept is exciting in that it shows Honda is actively exploring new electric vehicle types. The company has already promised to put its Fit EV in production next year.

Click here to view more Honda EV-STER photos.

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