Honda developed its first electric vehicle for Europe

Takahiro Hachigo

Takahiro Hachigo

The interior offers space for four occupants across two bench-style seats.

The Urban EV will be Honda's first all-electric vehicle for Europe.

"Here in Europe, we see this move towards electrification gathering pace at an even higher rate than elsewhere", Hachigo told a Frankfurt press conference, adding that Europe was particularly appropriate for the global premiere of the next step towards Honda's "Electric Vision" strategy, namely the hybrid CR-V which goes on sale in production form in 2018.

Nearly every manufacturer is planning on launching an all-electric vehicle in the next few years, and this will be Honda's entry - the Urban EV. The result, to be fired out and into production in 2019, is the Urban EV Concept by Honda.

Best of all, the Urban EV concept is actually previewing the company's "technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model". You'll immediately notice the backlit Honda emblem, which presages a design cue that will show up on future Honda EVs. At the front of the Honda, interactive multilingual messages can be displayed between the headlights, such as greetings, advice for other drivers, or charging status updates. Entry and exit from the vehicle is via rear-hinged coach doors. 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". There's a wide windscreen that curls around at the corners, an enormous flat screen sits atop the dashboard, and the dash itself is a car-width floating panel housing very few physical controls. It can then apply what it has learnt from the driver's past decisions to make new choices and recommendations.

Honda's Power Manager Concept, revealed alongside the Urban EV Concept in Frankfurt, is a smart system created to incorporate EVs into a smart power grid. It uses advanced technology to intelligently integrate the electric vehicle into the wider power network, so it is no longer just a consumer but also a contributor to the grid.

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