Honda outs new aggressive e:N2 EV platform design for a 'rebirth into an electric mobility brand'
Honda just announced its next electric car platform dubbed the e:N2 on which it plans to base some of the promised 10 new EVs for the Chinese market by 2027. The "sharp and dynamic body lines" of the e:N2 concept may never make it to a retail vehicle, but according to Honda it exemplifies the mass production direction it will be embarking on in the next few years. The whole design package will offer "intellectual exhilaration" as passengers feel one with the car via a minimalistic cockpit and sense stimulators like mood lighting, scents, or Honda's CONNECT infotainment.
The FWD concept is supposed to offer superior handling and stability in order for the driver to "achieve unique driving pleasure, enabling the driver to enjoy a strong ‘sense of unity with the vehicle." Honda is keen to emphasize the uniqueness of the e:N2 design concept that looks unlike any other EV save for, perhaps, Tesla's angular Cybertruck. According to Honda's CEO Toshihiro Mibu:
Honda will accelerate various electrification initiatives in the entire value chain, including R&D, procurement, production, sales, and after-sales service, and further expand e: In the N product matrix, by 2027, 10 pure electric vehicles will be launched one after another, and at the same time, it will provide Chinese users with e:N products full of endless fun with a solid and stable full value chain system.
While Honda has been one of the last holdouts among the top 5 global automakers to announce its electric vehicle transformation strategy, it did so with a bang and to the tune of US$40 billion earmarked for the purpose. Currently, it only plans to offer the Honda Prologue electric SUV in the US that is built on GM's Ultium EV platform, but in China the GAC-Honda joint venture already launched the affordable e:NP1 crossover.
The US$26,000 SUV is the first example of Honda's affordable electric car entry strategy that aims to leverage the Ultium platform partnership with GM to explore the underserved market niche of cheap sub-US$30,000 electric cars that Tesla will also be gunning for with the Model 2.