This will be Honda’s first electric car for Europe
Honda’s president, Takahiro Hachigo, reckons that ‘in Europe we see this move towards electrification gathering pace at an even higher rate than elsewhere’. That’s one reason Europeans are going to be getting Honda’s first full electric vehicle – the eagerly awaited Urban EV – as early as next year.
The car shown last year and again at this year’s Geneva motor show is still a concept, but the response to it has been so positive there are no plans to make major changes for the production version.
It’s low and wide and just a touch shorter than the company’s Jazz, being built on an entirely new electric platform. It will fit in as a premium model, so don’t expect it to be cheap, although Honda is hoping to be able to get electric cars much closer in price to petrol or diesel models within the next two or three years.
One change is that the concept has seating for four, whereas the production model will be able to accommodate five. Visibility is good thanks to the wide screen framed by narrow A-pillars, and the driver has a fairly streamlined selection of switches and buttons. At present there’s a vast wraparound screen that extends round onto the doors, but whether this makes a production version is unknown at this juncture.
You’ll notice the car doesn’t have door mirrors, since there are digital cameras showing the road behind, feeding through to that huge display.
As yet we don’t have details of the power source or pricing, but Honda is clearly seeing this as an electric city car since the range is envisaged to be around 150 miles. Given the enthusiastic reception the Urban EV has received so far, that’s not expected to be much of a deterrent when the order book opens in the UK early next year.