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Honda compact EV getting ready for Geneva

By Tony O'Kane, 31 Jan 2019 Car News

Honda compact EV getting ready for Geneva

Electric revolution gains momentum as Honda chalks a cute city compact for production

Less than two years after it wowed the world with a genuinely unexpected reveal of a cheeky retro all-electric hatchback concept, Honda will wheel out a near-production version of its first all-electric passenger car.

In September 2017 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Japanese automaker whipped the covers off a compact and cute concept dubbed the Honda Urban EV (below). Styled to honour early Honda passenger cars such as the N360 and first-generation Honda Civic, the 3.9-metre long Urban EV concept measured around 10cm shorter than a Honda Jazz and boasted a four-seat cabin, suicide doors and a three-door hatchback bodystyle.

Honda also made the unusual move of announcing that a production version would enter showrooms in Europe by the end of 2019 – the concept was no mere ‘design study’.

And we’ll get to see the final result at the Geneva Motor Show this March, where the European-market version of the as-yet unnamed electric Honda will be revealed. Precise details have yet to be revealed, including the car’s single-charge range, power output and performance figures, but pre-production prototypes spied testing indicate that the pair of suicide doors have made way for a more practical and conventional five-door arrangement.

A teaser sketch shown by Honda (at top) also indicates that much of the original concept’s design themes will remain, albeit softened somewhat for a more aerodynamic look. Interestingly, it appears the concept’s mirror-replacing rear view cameras will remain.

As yet, there's no indication of price, however, don't expect this one to be an affordable option for its size. Honda is staying quiet for now, but with the similarly-sized Renault Zoe - one of Europe's most popular electric cars - selling in Australia for $47,490 and up, we expect the Honda to land in the same ballpark. That is, assuming it gets the green light for Australia as well as Europe and Japan.

Expect to see more of Honda’s intriguing micro-EV as we draw closer to the Geneva Motor Show, which opens on March 7.