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2017 Frankfurt Motor Show: Honda EV Concept gets the green light for 2019

By Andy Enright, 12 Sep 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

2017 Frankfurt Motor Show: Honda EV Concept gets the green light for 2019

Retro-styled electric city car wins hearts in Frankfurt

It’s billed as Honda’s first EV for the European market, but after giving Honda’s Urban EV Concept the once over, we reckon demand will be pretty strong here in Australia.

If you’ve despaired at some of Honda’s styling efforts of late, the Urban EV concept is going to come as a breath of fresh air. The deliberately simple, old-school silhouette conceals some neat details such as the front-hinged ‘suicide’ doors and a Honda emblem backlit in blue, a feature set to become an emblem of electric Hondas.

It’s genuinely tiny too, breaking the tape at just 3895mm, some 100mm shorter than a Honda Jazz city scoot. Honda claims that between the headlights is a strip where interactive messages can be displayed, from charging updates to ‘advice for other drivers’, although we’d hesitate to imagine what that would comprise.

The cabin is minimalist and features a floating dashboard console, a huge interior touch screen, and a panoramic windscreen that wraps around onto the doors. This helps reduce the size of the car’s windscreen pillars, increasing visibility in concert with wing mirrors that comprise of dinky digital camera displays.

Talking about the concept, which was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Honda president Takahiro Hachigo said: “This is not some vision of the distant future. A production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019.”

The concept as displayed can seat four occupants, although it’s likely that a production version will feature a more conventional three-seat rear bench.

Honda has yet to release details of the powertrain, but the Urban EV will feature a high-density lightweight battery pack, integrated heat management, and energy transfer functions both to and from the vehicle, allowing owners to potentially run their houses at peak time from battery power that’s charged at night time rates.