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Frankfurt – Honda Urban EV on sale in two years

Four-seater concept close to electric production model.

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Electric power is, without doubt, a major theme of the 2017 Frankfurt motor show and typical of the new models is the Honda Urban EV Concept.

Built on a completely new platform, the car is said to set the direction for the technology and design of a future battery-electric Honda production car. Honda says this car will be launched within two years – “This is not some vision of the distant future,” says president and CEO Takahiro Hachigo, suggesting that the concept is pretty close to the finished car.

Messaging other drivers

The Urban EV Concept has a low and wide stance, seating four occupants. It is also highly compact, measuring up 100mm shorter than Honda’s current smallest car the Jazz supermini.

A notable styling touch is the blue backlighting of the Honda emblem on the front, which will be on all future Honda EVs. Whether the facility to display messages between the headlamps, such as greetings and advice for other drivers, will make the production model is much more open to question.

Slim windscreen pillars and a wide wraparound windscreen should ensure excellent visibility for the driver, while entry is easy too, thanks to rear-hinged doors. The two bench seats are upholstered in different finishes, while the front of the cabin includes a ‘floating dash console’ and a wraparound information screen extending into the doors.

Honda is not quoting details of the EV Urban Concept’s performance or its range yet, but it will no doubt take advantage of the Power Manager Concept also launched at the Frankfurt show. This is a more efficient energy storage system, that releases electricity generated by renewable sources back into the home or sells it to the grid.

Honda launched its ‘Electric Vision’ strategy at the 2017 Geneva motor show – this includes the development of a dedicated electric vehicle platform, featuring fully-electric powertrain technology. A high-density, lightweight battery pack, integrated heat management and transferring energy both to and from the vehicle all feature in the strategy.

Honda Urban EV The Car Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.