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31 August 2017

Honda Showing Urban EV And CR-V Hybrid Concepts In Frankfurt

Honda will take steps forward in its Electric Vision campaign at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show with introduction of the Honda Urban EV Concept and CR-V Hybrid Prototype.

The battery reliant vehicles are part of Honda’s pledge to have electrified powertrains in two thirds of its European cars sold by 2030.

No photos have been released yet of the Urban EV Concept – just the teaser of the dashboard screen showing 80 percent charge completed. It is expected to be a small EV, ideal for navigating through narrow, crowded streets of European cities.

It could be small crossover SUV, similar in design to the Honda Urban SUV Concept shown in 2013 at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

The only details released by Honda on the Urban EV Concept are that it will set the direction for a future production model, indicating it will be built on an all-new platform; and that it’s Honda’s first EV for Europe.

The company will also preview the European version of the refreshed CR-V crossover through the CR-V Hybrid Prototype.

The all-new 2017 Honda CR-V was launched for the U.S. market in October 2016. It’s been a strong seller for the automaker in global markets.

Honda will also display a new look for the Jazz, which is sold in the U.S. as the Honda Fit.

Another new model will be a new diesel-powered version of the tenth-generation Honda Civic. That indicates demand for diesel cars hasn’t gone away completely since the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal broke nearly two years ago.

The most telling aspect of the Frankfurt reveal is how similar Honda’s strategy is to that of German automakers. It has seemed to have notched the U.S. down a peg from its strategic market planning list, and this may have to do with the Trump administration’s expected softening of fuel economy and emissions rules and leaving the Paris climate accord.

Europe and China are staying with strict standards supporting EVs and eventually eliminating fossil-fuel powered cars.

In June, Nikkei reported Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo saying two new EV models will be coming out in 2018, one of them developed specifically for China.

The second model will be sold globally, he said. It could very well be the Honda Urban EV Concept designed for the European market.

SEE ALSO:  Honda and Hitachi Electric Motor Joint Venture Finalized

In March, when Electric Vision was launched by Honda Motor Europe’s President and COO, Katsushi Inoue, the company statement said that “Europe is at the forefront of Honda’s global electric vehicle strategy.”

The only EV that Honda is selling now in the U.S. is the Honda Clarity BEV at very small numbers.

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