Dealers in the US (and likely Canada) won’t get the next Honda EV when it shows up later this year. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be left out. Honda’s got big electric plans.
It might seem like Honda is behind the curve on electric cars. Which is a surprise for the company that was very early to climb aboard the hybrid electric train. But the automaker has a plan. And it extends beyond the very cute but very small e that it’s bringing to market very soon.
The report comes from Automotive News, speaking with Honda at a corporate technology briefing held in Japan.
“This new architecture is designed to achieve smooth driving and highly efficient packaging,” said Ayumu Matsuo, Honda’s managing officer in charge of power unit development. “We believe it will meet the needs of customers who like our C-segment and D-segment models.”
That means a new global electric vehicle platform. One that can sit under not just city cars, but also larger sedans and crossovers, necessary for North America and Chinese markets.
Like the e, the new Honda electrics will put the motor in the back. And they’ll have rear-drive platforms. Unlike the e, they’ll be able to accommodate more body shapes and sizes, plus different motor and battery configurations, the report says.
“It has a different aim from the Honda e,” said Tetsuya Hasebe, head of Honda’s EV development division. “This one aims for intercity, long-distance travel.”
“We have introduced a new structure which enables our engineers to take on new challenges,” Hachigo said at last week’s briefing. “We have clearly divided areas of our r&d focus into advanced technology for creating new future value and the existing area for developing uniquely Honda products in collaboration with our other business operations.”
Honda is planning to have this architecture arrive before 2025, the same year it wants 100 percent electrification in Europe. Though that means mostly hybrids. After that, the automaker wants two-thirds of its global lineup electrified by 2030, with EVs accounting for 15 percent of sales that year. Which is a massive jump from last year, where the company saw EVs and hybrids combined at just 7 percent of global sales.
The rear-drive balance, and 50-50 weight distribution should give the cars tighter turning circles, and improve handling. But still accommodate a front motor for all-wheel drive. Honda hasn’t yet said what the next EV will be.
Source: Automotive News