We do need this in a big way!! I can always count on the Verge to put out something I am totally interested in
While it was slower getting into the dedicated electric vehicle game than others, the Honda Urban EV Concept is a sign that the Japanese automaker is making up for lost time.
Shown Tuesday at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Urban EV Concept is an adorable homage to some of Honda’s first small cars, such as the diminutive Civic hatchbacks of the 1970s, and about the size of a Fiat 500e. For fans of its charmingly nostalgic looks, Honda says this concept is a good hint at what a production version will look like when it goes on sale in 2019.
AN ADORABLE HOMAGE TO SOME OF HONDA’S FIRST SMALL CARS
While Honda has just started to offer the Clarity EV in the US and Japan, the company once known as a pioneer of hybrids has fallen behind rivals such as Nissan with their 2018 Leaf in the electrification stakes. The Urban EV Concept is supposed to represent a clean slate and the indicator of the direction Honda wants to take its EVs in.
Details about its propulsion were not revealed with the design, but the Honda Automated Network Assistant concierge service is part of this concept. The company says the system “learns from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgments,” and bases future recommendations off of that. Like so many other automakers, Honda thinks we want to talk to our cars in the future, too.
Inside, Honda made the design simple, starting with the rear-hinged doors that are about the only thing this concept has in common with a Rolls-Royce. There is space for four people inside the very cool interior. A superwide display sits on top of a dashboard that looks more like a sideboard. There is a noticeable lack of buttons and switches on it and the steering wheel, too, hence the need to actually talk to the car.
Still, it would be great if Honda made an interior that looked anything like this, and then managed to sneak it into a Mini-rivaling electric hatchback.
For now, Honda is only saying the production version of the Urban EV Concept is destined for Europe in 2019. While it would seem silly not to also sell the car in Japan, the American Honda office will likely push the larger Clarity line and hybrid versions of cars like the Accord. It’s still too early to rule anything out, however.
If this is any indicator of Honda’s design direction for EVs, good things should start happening.