Honda just made the electric vehicle retro with the Urban EV Concept

Honda Urban EV concept to make production in 2019

Honda is preparing an electric vehicle for the European market and it previewed it today with the debut of the Urban EV concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. At the front of the Honda, interactive multilingual messages can be displayed between the headlights, such as greetings, advice for other drivers, or charging status updates.

"This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this vehicle will be here in Europe in 2019", he told the gathered media at the 2017 IAA.

There is no information on the powertrain of the Honda Urban EV concept but expect it to use a lightweight battery pack.

In a world where auto manufacturers are torn between designing their electric vehicles to look like futuristic spaceships or regular 2017 cars, Honda has thrown out the rule book and gone for something thoroughly retro.

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Nearly every manufacturer is planning on launching an all-electric vehicle in the next few years, and this will be Honda's entry - the Urban EV. 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. This electricity can be used to power and heat the building, as well as to charge the EV. The cabin too can seat four with those bench seats and rear seat belts that retract before the occupants leave the auto. The seatbelts for the rear bench are fixed in the middle of the seat, allowing the belt to retract out of the way before a passenger exits the vehicle. It's finished in gray fabric and wood, with a panoramic dashboard in the center.

A large floating dashboard design houses the steering wheel and a minimalistic layout with only a few button controls and a large display screen. The screen extends into the door panels and doubles as wing mirrors, with digital cameras taking the place of traditional units. It can then apply what it has learnt from the driver's past decisions to make new choices and recommendations.

Rather than style its future electric vehicle like some far-fetched prop from a Will Smith blockbuster movie, Honda has instead turned to the past. Technology is created to enable electric vehicles in a smart grid.

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.


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