The Honda Urban EV Concept was first shown as a concept car – a tantalising glimpse of the future – at last autumn’s Frankfurt motor show, together with Honda’s Power Manager, a smart energy system that can store electricity to power a home or office, or even sell energy back to the grid.
The critics loved it. The Verge called it a ‘tiny heartbreaker’, and Top Gear said it is ‘wonderfully cutesy’. Six months later, Honda’s announcement that it would put a version of the concept car into production was met with universal acclaim.
At the 2018 Car Design Award honours, held in Italy, a panel of 12 judges awarded Honda’s EV proposal the title of Best Concept Car. Jurors said it brings ‘a much-needed sense of personality to the EV space.’
“Our Urban EV Concept is the true representation of Honda’s ‘We make it simple’ design philosophy, which aims to make cars closer to people’s hearts,” said Makoto Iwaki, Honda R&D Executive Creative Director.
The future electric car won’t just be adorable to look at. It will be clever, too. When it goes on sale, next year, it will be built on a new platform purpose-designed for battery-powered vehicles. Details of its battery, driving range, and charging times are still to be announced, but Iwaki promises it will ‘be easy to access, fun to drive, and make everyday life more fulfilled and joyful.’
It could also mean an end to visits to the petrol station. For many drivers, that is a silent revolution they’d like to be part of.