A Closer Look At Honda’s New Urban EV (Electric Vehicle) Concept

by Trefis Team
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Recently, Honda Motors (NYSE:HMC) unveiled a pure electric concept car built on a completely new platform which will set the direction for the technology and design to be used in Honda’s production models in 2019. As an increasing number of countries impose new regulations to increase usage of new energy vehicles and China looking to make it mandatory for automakers to have electric vehicles as part of their portfolio, companies are increasing their focus on EVs. Mercedes-Benz is likely to introduce electric versions of all its models by 2022, indicating that automakers are also looking to provide luxury electric cars to meet customer needs.  Honda’s new concept vehicle includes:

  • An automated network assistant concierge which will “learn from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgements”. The intelligent assistant will then “apply these learnings in making recommendations based on past decisions.”
  • The exterior of the car has been designed to give it a sporty driving performance. The design also allows drivers to display messages in front of the car which could be “greetings, advice for other drivers on the road or charging status updates”.
  • The interiors of the car have a large “floating” dashboard console which houses the steering wheel, simple control buttons, and a panoramic display.
  • The company also revealed its “Power Manager Concept” which can store energy more efficiently, providing revenue opportunities to EV owners in future. The EV’s battery can be used to power a home thus cutting down the electricity consumption and the EV owners can sell this unused energy back to the grid.

While the car has several intelligent features, the fact that Honda is likely to start production of vehicles based on this concept as early as 2019, gives the company a competitive edge over other players.

As most countries look to tackle the growing pollution in cities, electric cars are likely to dominate urban markets in the next few decades. China is the fastest growing market in the world for new energy vehicles (NEV) and by 2025 the market for NEVs in China will grow to 6 million units per year of which 4 million vehicles will be all electric. This trend is pushing automakers to focus more on electric vehicles and might change the market share breakdowns going forward. Companies with a better and cheaper technology who are able to produce these cars faster are likely to emerge as winners. Honda’s aim is to have electric vehicle sales comprise nearly two-thirds of its new vehicle sales in Europe by 2025 and globally by 2030.

Honda’s new concept urban EV looks like a winner and might provide the company with a competitive edge in the long term.

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