Honda Motor Europe: 2/3 of European sales to feature electrified powertrains by 2025; “Electric Vision”
Speaking at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Honda Motor Europe’s President and COO, Katsushi Inoue outlined Honda’s commitment to an electric future in Europe, with a specific aim to have electrified powertrains in two-thirds of Honda cars sold in Europe by 2025.
Honda’s focus on electrification in Europe will initially be driven by a roll-out of hybrid technology across its automobile range. The first new hybrid model, which will feature Honda’s two-motor hybrid system, will go on sale in 2018.
Honda will also make plug-in hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles commercially available to European customers.
We will leverage Honda’s global R&D resources to accelerate the introduction of a full portfolio of advanced, electrified powertrains for the European customer.—Katsushi Inoue
Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell model will be showcased at Geneva, following the arrival of the first cars in Europe at the end of last year. The arrival of Clarity Fuel Cell in Europe as part of the Europe-wide HyFIVE (Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles) initiative reinforces Honda’s commitment to drive the adoption of fuel cell vehicles and the creation of a viable hydrogen refueling infrastructure across the region.
The announcement of the electric vehicle strategy for Europe comes just weeks after Honda was confirmed as the fastest growing mainstream car brand in the region in 2016.
The full-year data from European industry body ACEA shows that total sales for Honda in EU and EFTA countries in 2016 were 159,126 units to the end of December, an increase of 20.8% per cent compared to same period in 2015. Honda’s growth significantly outpaced the results for the EU passenger car market as a whole, which saw a year-on-year increase of 6.8% per cent.
NeuV. Making its European show debut in Geneva, the Honda NueV (earlier post) is a pure-electric concept car with a unique ownership proposition and a state-of-the-art ‘emotion engine’ that can learn about its driver. The NeuV (pronounced “new-vee”), which stands for New Electric Urban Vehicle, was conceived to take advantage of the fact that privately-owned vehicles sit idle for 96% of the time.
The pure-electric concept car explores a financially-beneficial ownership model for enterprising customers, by functioning as an automated ride sharing vehicle when the owner is not using the car. It would pick up and drop off customers at local destinations, and could also sell energy back to the electric grid during times of high demand when it‘s sitting idle, further monetizing the vehicle’s down time.
NeuV also functions as a thoughtful and helpful AI assistant utilizing an emotion engine called HANA (Honda Automated Network Assistant), which learns from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgments. It can then apply what it has learnt from the driver’s past decisions to make new choices and recommendations. The HANA emotion engine is a set of AI technologies developed by cocoro SB Corp., which enable machines to artificially generate their own emotions.
A full touch-panel interface enables both the driver and passenger to access NeuV’s simple and convenient user experience. Outstanding outward visibility is afforded by a sweeping panoramic windscreen and a dramatically sloping belt line that make maneuvering simple. Entry and exit from the vehicle is made as easy as possible, even in tight parking spaces, with a complete side panel that opens out and backwards to create a large opening.
NeuV has two seats with luggage space behind, which also stores the ‘Kick ’n Go’ electric scooter concept designed for ‘last mile’ transit. The scooter concept is inspired by Honda’s original scooter of the same name launched in the 1970s. The new design is powered by a detachable battery rather than a chain mechanism, and can be recharged through a connection in NeuV’s luggage space. The new ‘Kick ’n Go’ concept demonstrates that Honda is looking at all aspects of affordable electric mobility that can enrich people’s daily lives.
Honda recently demonstrated NeuV as part of its ‘Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem’ at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, showing the potential power of artificial intelligence, robotics and big data to transform the mobility experience of the future and improve customers’ quality of life.