Japanese firm seeks to make up lost EV ground with two launches; the first will be previewed at the Frankfurt motor show
Jim Holder
29 August 2017

Honda will launch two all-new electric cars in 2018 - one for the Chinese market and one for global sale - as it seeks to make up lost ground on rivals and hit its goal of two-thirds of sales being powered by an electrified powertrain by 2025.

Honda Urban EV concept revealed at Frankfurt Motor Show 

The first model will be previewed in a concept at the Frankfurt motor show next month. Called the Urban EV concept, it will influence a production car that is being designed with Europe as its key market. A preview picture of what appears to be its instrument cluster during charging (pictured above) has been released.

Honda Sports EV revealed at Tokyo motor show 2017

The arrival of this car and the second planned EV marks a change in direction for Honda. The brand has led the way in hydrogen car development with the Clarity (pictured below) and been a leading hybrid pioneer since the launch of the Insight in 1999. But, along with other Japanese manufacturers, it has held back on launching pure electric cars until now.

Its senior management previously argued that the real-world emissions benefits of electric cars after the electricity was generated didn’t justify the technology and instead preferred to concentrate on developing cars powered by hydrogen fuel cell. Growing political pressure to sell electric cars in China and the rest of the world has forced a change in strategy, however.

To accelerate development of electric cars, Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo ordered the creation of a stand-alone Electric Vehicle Development Division in October 2016, with the investment to build that technical expertise expected to yield more fully electric cars in time. More recently, Honda has partnered Hitachi to form a new electric vehicle company.

Few details of Honda's first bespoke global EV have been revealed, beyond Hachigo saying it will feature “a high-density, lightweight battery pack, integrated heat management and the evolution of energy transfer functions – both to and from the vehicle”. He suggested the powertrain layout “will enable greater freedom in the design of vehicle packaging”.

Hachigo also revealed that Honda is investigating new high-speed charging systems that would be capable of adding 150 miles of range for every 15 minutes of charging, as well as wireless charging technology.

In addition, Honda will roll out an innovative new two-stage hybrid powertrain across its European range, starting with the new CR-V, which will be shown in prototype form at the Frankfurt show and go on sale next year. The two-motor system links to a 2.0-litre petrol engine and is already sold in the US and Japan in the Odyssey Hybrid and Accord Hybrid.

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Comments
7

8 June 2017
How did Honda go so far down the wrong path. Nissan, Renault have a major head start on them by at least 2 years.

There's plenty of other issues with Honda too, 10 years ago they were well ahead of Nissan, Honda being 6th in the world league. They're now 8th and Nissan are pulling away, and Honda will probably be 9th next year if PSA get their way with Opel.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

8 June 2017
The frustrating thing is, Honda had NUMEROUS hybrids on sale just a few years ago. You were able to choose from a Civic Hybrid (albeit in saloon form), the CR-Z, a Jazz Hybrid and two generations of Insight. And now... as of June 2017... nothing! What went wrong? They need to do far better than having 1 EV in their range by 2018. That's the sort of goal that manufacturers should've been setting for 2015, never mind next year...


"Work hard and be nice to people"

8 June 2017
The frustrating thing is, Honda had NUMEROUS hybrids on sale just a few years ago. You were able to choose from a Civic Hybrid (albeit in saloon form), the CR-Z, a Jazz Hybrid and two generations of Insight. And now... as of June 2017... nothing! What went wrong? They need to do far better than having 1 EV in their range by 2018. That's the sort of goal that manufacturers should've been setting for 2015, never mind next year...


"Work hard and be nice to people"

30 August 2017
Mini2 wrote:

The frustrating thing is, Honda had NUMEROUS hybrids on sale just a few years ago. You were able to choose from a Civic Hybrid (albeit in saloon form), the CR-Z, a Jazz Hybrid and two generations of Insight. And now... as of June 2017... nothing! What went wrong? They need to do far better than having 1 EV in their range by 2018. That's the sort of goal that manufacturers should've been setting for 2015, never mind next year...

Totally agree, why did they stop bring hybrids to Europe? I'd guess it's because all the tax laws benefited diesels so honda joined in and went that way and people were buying more diesels than hybrids, all the magazine's criticize the hybrids when comparing them with diesels so people bought the diesels instead of hybrids. Even autocar slates Toyota hybrids especially when compared with a vw diesel product never pointing out that it's horses for courses, diesels always won the comparison. So I guess honda in Europe followed the sales trend.

26 June 2017
I think that it's wonderful that so many car manufacturers are getting into the electric game! I mean, we all need to do our part for the environment don't we? This could be an excellent way to really cut down on fossil fuel pollution in the world and not to mention that maintaining electric and hybrid cars are going to be a lot more friendly on the finances in the long run too!

29 August 2017

Just as you think Honda's can't get any uglier, up pops another. What on earth is that thing in the photographs above? 

Come back Allegro, Princess, Pacer and Ssangyong Rhodius - all is forgiven.

29 August 2017

I predict they will be as fugly as Richard Branson.

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