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Honda EV-N Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Carlos Ghosn and Nissan may be plowing head first into the EV world, but Honda isn't so certain buyers are going to be willing to accept the range and charging woes that go along with driving an all-electric car. Tomohiko Kawanabe, president of research and development for Honda, has been quoted as saying that while his company is currently researching the possibility of an EV, he isn't going so far as to recommend them. We're not sure whether that means he won't recommend his company produce an electric car of its own, or if he just wouldn't tell his mother to cruise on over to the Nissan dealer to pick up a Leaf.

Either way, we'll probably see some form of plug-in hybrid or EV from Honda within a few short years. California has mandated that a certain percentage of vehicle sales must be either plug-in hybrid or EV starting in 2012. Given Kawanabe's chilly assessment of the EV game, though, odds are we won't be seeing anything like the adorable all-electric EV-N Concept on our streets. Chances are cars like the CR-Z, Civic Hybrid and Insight will come with a plug-in option and larger batteries instead.



  • As you can see, the Honda EV-N can expertly carry three Easter eggs in its cargo area.

[Source: Bloomberg]


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  • 39 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      As of late, I lack confidence in Honda!!!!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Korben Dallas:

        I might have agreed with you a few years ago, but Honda's latest entries are terrible to look at and average at best to drive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If their EVs look like that, I totally agree.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @mapoftazifosho

        calling out the fit and cr-z on their EPA fuel estimates, hehe good one! Look at real world automotive tests on both, and they score much higher

        But yeah at the end of the day the cr-z is still dildos
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nothing new here. Lacking confidence in Honda has always been a tell-tale sign of a couch-potato pseudo-driver.

        For real drivers though, Honda is always the supreme deity of this world's automotive Pantheon.
        • 4 Years Ago
        multipass!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am assuming you are either being sarcastic, or talking about your b18c5 swapped CRX :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lmao you can't be serious, korben Dallas!? Multipass!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        You do NOT deserve to call yourself Korben Dallas.

        But hey, bravo to Honda for dumping on EV's...when they continue to launch the most worthless vehicle ever approved for production. The CR-Z isn't sporty, it isn't practical, and it isn't all the fuel efficient...

        So, I have all of the negatives of two seater, without any of the benefits of a sports car...and it's only marginally better on fuel than a TRUE sports car...well played...

        The new Accord is hideous and is now a LARGE car.

        The Insight under-performs in real world driving...

        The Fit only gets 33 mpg highway...REALLY?!

        The Ridgeline is a total failure...

        The ONLY car a savvy consumer would consider is the Civic...

        I would like to know where Honda is investing their money?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Fanboy much Korben?

        I can't even begin to describe how off base you are.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Am I the only one who would be interested in a gas-engine EV-N? Or maybe an actual CIVIC HATCH which Honda refuses to sell here...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Honda has plenty of hatches in the USA.
        Insight
        CR-Z(soon)
        Fit
        Accord
        CR-V
        Pilot
        Odyssey
        RDX
        MDX

        ;-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      As far as the mass market goes, I can't argue with his reasoning. There are buyers who could make good use of an electric commuter, and even some who could get away with having an electric as their only vehicle if they never take long car trips, but for the most part I think hybrids and EREVs are going to be the semi-electrics of choice.
        • 4 Years Ago
        emperorkoku; words outta my mouth.

        I used to be skeptical about EV practicality until i learned about quick chargers and their upcoming availability also - here in Oregon, we are getting over 100 quick charging stations. That's a lot for such a small state.

        The only thing i can fault EV's for is their cross-country ability. It would suck to have to stop every ~80 miles on a long trip.

        This will improve in time. There is a lot of room to improve battery tech, actually.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I posted this on another comment, but I feel it applies here, as well, with no changes, so:

        Ya know, I might be the only one (or one of few), but I think it would be acceptable to be able to charge the batteries on an electric car to 80% within ten minutes. Sure, it would be a slightly longer time at a "gas" station, but ten minutes doesn't seem to be ridiculous to the type of person who buys a Prius to mitigate climate change (and there's plenty). Isn't this a business opportunity, to start installing these chargers at gas stations? I can't be the only person who sees this opportunity. Honda needs to take their head out of the sand and start LEADING instead of following.

        And if every gas station (or most) had one of these chargers, then anyone but those in the most rural locations would be able to own an electric car as their only car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I should probably have included "as long as technology is close to what's commercially available." If and when we have decent-capacity batteries that can reliably and safely be charged from minimum charge to 80% of usable charge in 10 minutes or less, I think EVs will be viable for more people. I know lots of companies are working on that, but as far as I know, there's no commercial product capable of meeting those demands.

        Capacity: 50+ mile range on a charge
        Safely: The average moron can recharge his car without incident 99% of the time. (Let's be realistic, after 100+ years there are still idiots who can't remember that gasoline vapors are flammable and set their cars on fire with depressing regularity.)
        Reliably: I'm not saying the battery has to have the same longevity as a well-designed IC engine, but let's say it should reasonably last for 5 years with around 1,000 miles/month using the rapid-charge cycle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      so cute, is that for the right foot or the left?
      • 4 Years Ago
      This may be the only thing I've agreed with Honda about in a while. Until we have a nonhydrocarbon source of unlimited electricity (such as fusion) EV's are a waste of time.

      Don't understand how so many think that switching from burning gas to burning coal to power your car is a great improvement. Great marketing to all the wannabe treehuggers out there who can't be bothered to sacrifice anything I suppose.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone else find it a shame that the government is forcing carmakers to build these types of cars? Do you realize how much energy it must consume to have a large-scale automaker create a mere 60,000 or less of these specialty battery cars?... all so a few customers (who clearly don't do much driving, otherwise the range would not be sufficient for them) can save a little energy?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm waiting on an EV-N. I'd buy one right now. My job is 2.1 miles away and my girlfriends is less than 4 miles. Even on the weekends I rarely drive over 60 miles. If I did, I have my Prelude and Civic, and she has a TC, which all get good gas mileage.

      I guess I'm one of the few people waiting on exactly this type of car (especially Honda). I like the Leaf, but live in an apt with only 120v in the garage.

      I guess I'll keep waiting.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Instead of waiting, you could be walking to work.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why wait? Golf carts are already available at your local Yamaha dealer!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just curious...what is the range of, say, a Leaf in Minneapolis when it's 10 below zero? How do the Prius and Insight fare in that kind of somewhat regular Midwest winter weather?
      • 4 Years Ago
      You take away the government assistance of about $7500 to buy a Nissan Leaf, that doesn't even cover half of the $18,000 in battery pack cost. Take away the government welfare, how many Leafs would be sold?

      No thanks, that makes a fully loaded Honda Fit at $18K look much better.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like that Honda EV-N "concept". Cool looking bread-box-auto.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is this the same "lack of confidence" that Honda seems to display toward Direct Injection, Turbo Chargers, Proper Variable Valve Timing, Start-Stop technology, or any other of the myriad of technologies being implemented by most other automakers?

      I'm starting to think that Honda's "lack of confidence" is a fancy way of saying, "we don't have the engineering prowess to pull it off."
        • 4 Years Ago
        leagues ahead? fact: car makers can produce electric cars and sell them for < $50,000. fact: car makers cannot produce fuel cell cars and realistically sell them for
        • 4 Years Ago
        Envy toward Honda's VVT? Vtec / iVtec? Isn't that the one that first used a two-position intake cam phaser, and then later variable cam phasing only on the intake cam, but not on the exhaust? Oh yeah, that's the one. Super envious. I'll be over here with my infinitely variable cam phasing on both cams.

        And as far as "Honda did DI years ago. The noise, vibrations, and long term reliability of DI makes it not worthy of a Honda." That just supports what I said - they don't have the engineering prowess to pull it off. I hear nothing but praise for Ford's ecoboost tech, GM's 3.6DI, etc. THEIR engineers don't seem to have a problem with "noise vibrations and reliability", considering the 3.6DI is one of Ward's 10 best. Even Hyundai has production direct injection engines on their massively acclaimed new Sonata. HYUNDAI.

        I recognize that Honda HAS used turbos, but not on run-of-the-mill cars in the way that other manufacturers are. Honda is behind on engine tech. It's one thing to show off a show car with a technology, or a small-production car. It's another thing to put technology on your everyday drivers, which Honda has not done.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Except for the FCX Clarity, which is leagues ahead and the first salvo in the end-game of motoring. I'm skeptical about battery vehicles, and not just for the charging hassles, but for the fact that batteries weaken over time. At least, this goddamned Apple battery in this computer I'm typing on only lasted about 18 months. Do I want to buy a car's worth of lithium batteries more than once every 6-8 years? Not really.
        • 4 Years Ago
        kimosen, are you just not well read.

        Honda did DI years ago. The noise, vibrations, and long term reliability of DI makes it not worthy of a Honda.

        Turbos, Honda has done turbos for decades
        etc.....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Strange to hears, considering that most of these technologies were pioneered in production-ready way by no one else but Honda :) (Yes, I understand the envy towards Honda's valve timing technology.)
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, more like they aren't willing to cough up the R&D money on an EV program.

        Their engineers are just as smart as any others and it's a business decision.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And then the SH-AWD beat the quattro in the snow.
        • 4 Years Ago
        COMPLETELY agreed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yawn.
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