Honda pulls wraps off Urban EV Concept

Honda pulls wraps off Urban EV Concept

Honda has not revealed any details of the Urban EV's powertrain, such as performance or driving range, but the company launched the vehicle alongside "Power Manager" - a charging system created to incorporate electric cars into the national power grid. When a production version of the Urban EV Concept hits the road in Europe, it'll be one of the first all-electric Hondas available in the region. The round LED headlamps and angular body are clear references to the first-generation Honda Civic, while the backlit Honda emblem will become a feature on all Honda EVs. Taking design cues from the first generation 1970s Civic, the Urban EV Concept "sets the direction for technology and design" for a production vehicle due in 2019.

Also at the motor show in Frakfurt the company Honda will present a new technology called Power Manager. Good driver visibility is promised by narrow front pillars and a wide windscreen and rear access is said to be made easy and convenient with rear-hinged doors and seatbelts that retract into the seat base.

Honda's Urban EV Concept can accommodate four occupants, across two bench seats finished in different materials. The front bench is upholstered with a natural grey fabric, while the rear bench gains wood-finish accents to lend the cabin a "lounge feeling". The interior is dominated by a large floating dashboard with a panoramic display screen. The dashboard itself is completed by a wrap-around screen that runs behind the console and extends into the doors. Instead of side mirrors are installed cameras that constantly broadcast on a special screen. The on-board advanced Honda Automated Network Assistant acts as a personal concierge, which learns from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgments. This behaviour is then considered when the vehicle offers new choices and recommendations.

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The system would let owners use their cars to feed electricity back into the grid at peak times, and then refill them overnight when demand is low.

The Japanese manufacturer is also developing its Power Manager Concept, an energy transfer system that can efficiently store and release energy either back into the home or by selling it back to the grid.

Honda's not saying too much about what powers it, instead concentrating on its Honda Power Manager technology, as showcased on auto earlier this year, and the company's "Electric Vision" for 2030 and beyond.

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