After showcasing it at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, Honda has brought the Urban EV concept to the Tokyo motor showas well. The brand has also confirmed that the production-spec model will arrive in European markets by 2020, followed by a launch in Japan.
Honda’s first all-electric car for Europe, it is underpinned by a new electric platform and “sets the direction for the technology and design” of its future EVs. The production version of the Urban EV will join the electric powered Clarity hatchback in US and Japanese markets.
Concerning the Urban EV concept, Honda president Takahiro Hachigo said: “This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019.”
About 100mm shorter than the Honda Jazz at 3,895mm, the concept is low and wide. The Honda badge used is backlit in blue, previewing a new badge design for future Honda EVs. The front of the concept, where the grille is usually found, has a display that provides information such as greetings, advice for other drivers or charging status updates.
On the inside, Honda aims to create optimal driver visibility by using slim A-pillars and a wide windscreen. Ingress and egress is via rear-hinged doors. The floating dashboard has the steering, a set of simple control buttons and a panoramic screen mounted in it. The screen extends into the doors and acts as the hatchback’s wing mirrors through digital camera display. While the concept is a four-seater, the production version is likely to seat five.
Honda has not divulged the powetrain details as yet, but has said that the model would feature high-density lightweight battery pack, integrated heat management and energy transfer functions both to and from the vehicle. A source at Honda suggested a relatively short range, which could mean it could go about 250km on a single charge.
The Japanese carmaker had recently announced that all its upcoming models for the European market would feature a level of electrification. The brand hopes to have two-thirds of its model range using hybrid or all-electric motors by 2025, five years earlier than its overall global goal.
Hachigo explained: “Here in Europe, we see this move towards electrification gathering pace at an even higher rate than elsewhere.”
The Urban EV joins the Sports EV concept at the car manufacturer’s stall at the Tokyo motor show.