Honda has unveiled its Urban EV Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. In the process, the company also used the event to set out its strategy for the future, especially in connection with its positioning in the European market.
The production version of the Urban EV concept has been confirmed for 2019 and will follow the CR-V hybrid that will launch in 2018. And Honda will have an electrified version of every model it launches in the future in Europe.
The announcement was made by Honda Motor Co. President and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, during his conference speech at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Hachigo-san made the commitment as he unveiled Honda’s new electric vehicle, the Urban EV Concept. “This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019,” he added, confirming that the concept is set to become a reality within two years.
At a global level, Honda aims to have electrified technology in two thirds of its new car sales by 2030. In Europe, the target year is 2025, as interest is particularly strong. “Here in Europe, we see this move towards electrification gathering pace at an even higher rate than elsewhere,” Hachigo-san commented, adding that Europe was therefore particularly appropriate for the global premiere of the “next step” in Honda’s ‘Electric Vision’ strategy.
Honda’s Urban EV Concept is built on a completely new platform, and showcases advanced technology within a simple and sophisticated design. The Honda emblem on the concept is backlit in blue, which previews a new styling feature for the company’s future EVs.
The Urban EV Concept takes the brand back to basics in terms of a compact hatchback design that evokes its heyday as the small car challenger for the European market. However it is wider and more planted and its dimensions seem suitable for a hot hatch.
Electronic display panels on the front and rear are used to communicate with other road users as well as to indicate charging status. The blue backlit emblem matches the visual.
The inside of the car is easily accessible by the rear-hinged coach doors and can accommodate four. The dashboard is a wide wood panelled floating unit with a panoramic display screen and a minimalistic control interface. The windscreen wraps itself around the dashboard and into the doors. The seating is by way of two bench seats clad in fabric with wood accent inserts.
Connectivity allows the use of Honda Automated network assistant, that is programmed to detect the driver’s emotional status which feeds into the decision making on the car. The car is charged through a port on the hood and pairs with Honda’s power manager concept that also debuted at the show. The unit allows two way flow of energy.
“When appropriate, Power Manager can draw on energy from the EV battery to power the home, and minimise the demand from the main grid,” said Philip Ross, Senior Vice President of Honda Motor Europe. “It even allows energy stored in the EV to be sold back to the grid to generate an income for the owner.”