Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Honda reveals new EV Concept at Frankfurt

Honda reveals new EV Concept at Frankfurt

The all-electric concept is underpinned by a new dedicated electric platform and, according to Honda, sets the direction for the technology and design of its future electric vehicles. 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.

While the concept can only seat four, the production version of the Urban EV concept should be a five-seater.

"This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this auto will be here in Europe in 2019", he told the gathered media at the 2017 IAA. Its compact proportions mean it has a total vehicle length 100mm shorter than the Jazz supermini.

In a world where auto manufacturers are torn between designing their electric vehicles to look like futuristic spaceships or regular 2017 cars, Honda has thrown out the rule book and gone for something thoroughly retro.

While there's definitely a retro influence in the Urban EV Concept, it's resolutely modern in its details, from the large multi-spoke alloy wheels to the LED rings around the headlights. Ingress and egress is via rear-hinged coach doors.

The driver's outward visibility from the Urban EV Concept is excellent thanks to slim A-pillars and a wide windscreen that appears to sweep around the entire front of the auto.

Honda's Urban EV Concept can accommodate four occupants, across two bench seats finished in different materials. Honda also is using the concept to highlight its future mobility tactics, including a personal concierge that claims to make decisions based on the driver's emotions. The front bench is upholstered with a natural grey fabric, while the rear bench gains wood-finish accents to lend the cabin a "lounge feeling". This behaviour is then considered when the auto offers new choices and recommendations. Instead, a floating wooden centre console and super-wide dashboard display dominate. The main dashboard screen presents a range of vehicle information including remaining battery level. Technology is created to enable electric vehicles in a smart grid.

Honda has not revealed any specifications for the Urban EV Concept, such as performance, battery range, charge times or price. 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.

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