Honda is still toting the company line that plug-in vehicles are a "near-future technology" and that the ultimate goal of green motoring is a choice of mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, such as its own FCX Clarity. This, despite the presence of new production plug-in vehicles (Leaf, Volt, etc) on the road today.
Regardless of whether or not you subscribe to Honda's way of thinking, it's always a pleasure to welcome in a new electric vehicle concept from a major automaker, and that's exactly what the Japanese automaker will be bringing to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
Says Honda, "The Honda EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda's upcoming production battery electric vehicle, the Fit EV, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012." Honda also notes that the concept is designed "to meet the daily driving needs of the average metropolitan commuter," and to that end, seats five passengers and has room for their cargo in the hatch.
Range will come in at 100 miles (using the U.S. LA4 City Cycle), and there will be three separate driving modes (as seen in the CR-Z hybrid hatchback) along with "several interactive coaching systems to assist the driver in maximising battery range." Honda will also show off a matching prototype Honda Charging Stand for electric vehicles.
The other major draw at the Honda display will be a new plug-in hybrid platform that will showcase the automaker's next-gen two-motor hybrid drivetrain. Unlike Honda's current Integrated Motor Assist technology, this will be a full hybrid system with three modes: all-electric, petrol-electric and an engine direct-drive mode. Honda has packaged the hybrid technology in a midsize platform – roughly the size of an Accord, we'd imagine.
We certainly look forward to seeing what Honda has in store for Geneva, but in the meantime, feel free to scan though the press release after the break for more clues.
The all-new Honda EV Concept electric vehicle will be displayed in Geneva, alongside a platform for mid size plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The concepts will be shown as part of Honda's "Road to Zero Emissions", illustrating the current technology of hybrids alongside the near-future technology of plug-in vehicles and the ultimate goal of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, like Honda's FCX Clarity.
Both vehicles are integral to the Honda Electric Mobility Network, the company's comprehensive approach to reducing CO2 emissions through innovative products, energy-management and energy-production technologies.
The Honda EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda's upcoming production battery electric vehicle, the Fit EV, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012. The all-new plug-in hybrid platform showcases Honda's next-generation, two-motor hybrid technology set to debut in 2012.
Honda EV Concept
The EV Concept is designed to meet the daily driving needs of the average metropolitan commuter and utilises the same 5-passenger layout found in the popular Fit hatchback (known as Jazz in Europe).
The Honda EV Concept will achieve an estimated 160 km (100 mile) driving range per charge using the US EPA LA4* city cycle . Driving range can be maximised by use of an innovative 3-mode electric drive system, adapted from the 2011 Honda CR-Z sporty hybrid. In addition to this, the Honda EV Concept will include several interactive coaching systems to assist the driver in maximising battery range.
Alongside the Honda EV Concept will be a prototype Honda charging stand, providing a glimpse at the future of an electric-charging infrastructure that is easy to use and intuitive for consumers.
Honda Plug-in Hybrid
Honda will also unveil a plug-in hybrid platform, which showcases Honda's next-generation two-motor hybrid system. Integrated into a mid-size sedan platform, the plug-in hybrid is designed to be compatible with daily driving habits, allowing for short, frequent trips in all-electric mode, while providing long-distance driving capability when needed.
The Honda two-motor system continuously moves through three different modes to maximise driving efficiency: all-electric, petrol-electric and a engine direct-drive mode. The plug-in hybrid also uses regenerative braking to charge the battery.
The FCX Clarity will be displayed alongside the two concept vehicles demonstrating its position as the ultimate solution to zero emissions mobility. The world's first production fuel cell electric vehicle has been available to lease in the US and Japan since 2008.
Honda Range at Geneva Motor Show 2011
The Geneva Motor Show will be the European motor show debut of the revised Honda Jazz and marks the return of a CVT automatic transmission to the endlessly flexible B-segment hatchback.
The Jazz Hybrid will go on sale in March 2011 in many markets and will be shown in full production specification, further demonstrating Honda's continuing commitment to petrol-electric hybrid technology.
The revised Honda Accord sedan and Tourer models will make their debut at the show. Both cars receive a host of changes including enhanced styling, emissions, ride and handling.
The 2011 Honda Insight will feature a revised interior. The car also features revised suspension components and settings, specification changes and two new exterior colours.
The world's first 6-speed manual hybrid coupe, the Honda CR-Z will grace the stand at the Geneva Motor Show.
Joining the Accord in the safety zone of the Geneva Motor Show stand is the CR-V equipped with the Euro NCAP award-winning Collision Mitigation Brake System, the Honda-developed autonomous emergency braking system.