Is it possible to write an entire story about an electric car based solely on a photograph? In the case of the EV prototype Honda says it will present to the world at the Geneva auto show in March, the answer is definitely yes. We will get into what we know about the prototype in a minute, but first we have to say if there is a category for “Cutest EV” in Geneva this year, this car has a lock on the award.
What does the picture reveal? Next to nothing, other than the car has two doors, gently bulging front fenders, and some sort of odd black bump on the hood. Could that be where the self-driving sensors are located? The blue horizontal light looks like something left over from KITT, the black TransAm that co-starred with David Hasselhoff in the TV series Knight Rider. Actually, it may an interactive screen that can communicate with pedestrians and bicycle riders.
For more details, we have to go back in time to the Urban EV concept Honda unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in 2017. That car was notable for the display screen that sweeps across the top of the entire dashboard and continues around to the door panels. “This is not some vision of the distant future. A production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019,” Honda’s CEO told the press at the time. He said the concept is built on an all-new chassis designed specifically for electric cars.
According to a Honda press release, the Urban EV concept represented “the company’s vision for a world where mobility and daily life are seamlessly linked. The on-board advanced Honda Automated Network Assistant acts as a personal concierge, which learns from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgments. It can then apply what it has learned from the driver’s past decisions to make new choices and recommendations.”
But wait, there’s more. Also in Frankfurt two years ago, Philip Ross of Honda Motor Europe told the press, “We will incorporate electrified drivelines in two thirds of cars sold in the region by 2025. The introduction of our Power Manager system supports and reinforces our commitment. It uses advanced technology to intelligently integrate the electric vehicle into the wider power network, so it is no longer just a consumer but also a contributor to the grid. It underlines our pledge to develop a more sustainable mobility model.”
Based on that statement, Honda may intend to make vehicle to grid charging part of its electric car tool kit. If so, the diminutive little EV could do double duty as a residential storage battery for the homes of people who buy one. Even KITT couldn’t do that.
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