Honda’s first series electric car is already open for pre-order in Europe. The Honda e has a special platform that will be the basis for other smaller EVs but now Honda is also working on an electric platform for larger models.
Honda’s new global e-platform is to be put in action before 2025 and will enable a large number of body variants such as sedans and SUVs as well as the use of various batteries and engines. The basic setup will be an electric rear-wheel drive, but four-wheel drives should also be possible.
While the small Honda e is primarily aimed at the European markets and the Japanese domestic market, the small electric car is apparently too small to appeal to customers in the USA, for example – and although Chinese customers have long since shown they can manage smaller cars, there is also increased interest in larger models. The larger electric platform should also be able to reach said other major car markets.
“This new architecture was developed to achieve smooth driving and highly efficient packaging,” said Ayumu Matsuo, Honda Managing Director responsible for the development of the drive units, to Autonews. “We believe it will meet the needs of customers who like our C-segment and D-segment models,” he said. Matsuo’s compact design and efficient arrangement of components are designed to make it easy and affordable to create different body styles.
The global platform will focus on standardisation, flexibility, size and performance, said Tetsuya Hasebe, general manager and chief engineer of Honda’s electric vehicle development division. “It has a different aim from the Honda e,” said Hasebe, adding that the platform can accommodate more battery cells for longer journeys. “This one aims for intercity, long-distance travel,” he explained, whereby Honda has always aimed for city and commuter driving with the Honda e.
Both architectures have flat batteries, mounted underneath the vehicle. The new architecture will also be able to accommodate cells from various vendors, including Panasonic and CATL. Only Panasonic cells will be installed in the smaller Honda e platform. The flexibility of the cells also allows production with local battery cells, which is particularly important in China.
Honda’s new strategy is similar to that of fellow-Japanese market leader Toyota, who recently announced that it will now be building battery-electric cars in addition to fuel cell vehicles, and the hybrid cars it is most known for. Toyota is teaming up with Subaru to develop an electric platform for medium and large passenger cars as reported.
Honda is also planning to enable different vehicle concepts all this on its new special e-platform. Two SUVs of different sizes, a crossover, a minivan, a mid-range sedan and a compact car have already been announced.
Honda aims to electrify two-thirds of its worldwide product range by 2030 and to achieve 100 per cent electrification of its offerings in Europe by 2025. Most of these will be hybrid cars.