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.”