Honda’s first EV here in 2019

Autocar - - NEWS -

HONDA HAS CON­FIRMED that a pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the Ur­ban EV Con­cept will be pro­duced in 2019.

The electric car, the Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer’s first for Europe, is built on a new, ded­i­cated electric plat­form and “sets the di­rec­tion for the tech­nol­ogy and de­sign” of its fu­ture EVS.

Talk­ing about the con­cept, which was re­vealed at the Frank­furt show, Honda pres­i­dent Takahiro Hachigo said: “This is not some vi­sion of the dis­tant fu­ture; a pro­duc­tion ver­sion of this car will be in Europe in 2019.”

The Ur­ban EV is 3895mm long, mak­ing it 100mm shorter than the Jazz su­per­mini, and has low and wide pro­por­tions.

It also wears a Honda badge back­lit in blue, which pre­views a new styling fea­ture for fu­ture EVS from the brand.

No pow­er­train or range de­tails have yet been given, but Honda said the car would in­clude a high-den­sity light­weight bat­tery pack, in­te­grated heat man­age­ment and en­ergy trans­fer func­tions both to and from the ve­hi­cle.

In­ter­ac­tive mes­sages can be dis­played, in­clud­ing greet­ings, ad­vice for other driv­ers or charg­ing sta­tus up­dates, be­tween the head­lights at the front of the car. In­side, Honda has aimed to cre­ate max­i­mum vis­i­bil­ity for driv­ers with the use of slim A-pil­lars and a wide wind­screen. En­try and exit from the Ur­ban EV is via rear-hinged coach doors.

A ‘float­ing’ dash­board con­sole houses the steer­ing wheel col­umn, a set of sim­ple con­trol but­tons and a panoramic screen. The wrap­around screen ex­tends be­yond the dash­board and into the doors, from where it func­tions as rear-view mir­rors via a dig­i­tal cam­era dis­play.

The con­cept can carry four oc­cu­pants, but it is likely that a pro­duc­tion ver­sion will of­fer seat­ing for five.

Honda re­cently an­nounced that ev­ery new model line from now on would fea­ture elec­tri­fied tech­nol­ogy in Europe, where the man­u­fac­turer hopes to have two thirds of its new cars sold us­ing elec­tri­fied tech­nol­ogy by 2025, five years ear­lier than its over­all global goal.

Hachigo said: “Here in Europe, we see this move to­wards elec­tri­fi­ca­tion gather­ing pace at an even higher rate than else­where.”

OF­FI­CIAL PIC­TURES Pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the Ur­ban EV wears a back­lit Honda badge

Wrap­around dash screen dou­bles as door mir­rors

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