Honda Commits to Electrified Sales And Shows NueV Electric Concept in Geneva

Having said two-thirds of its European sales will have electrified powertrains by 2025, this week Honda introduced its NueV all-electric concept car at the Geneva Motor Show.

Honda’s focus on electrification in Europe will initially be driven by a roll-out of hybrid technology across its vehicle line. The company said it will also make available to European buyers a line of plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The announcement by Honda Motor Europe’s President and COO Katsushi Inoue is part of the Honda brand’s new “Electric Vision.”

“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,” he said.

The first new hybrid model will feature Honda’s two-motor hybrid system. It goes on sale in 2018.

The European announcement follows close behind comments made in October by Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo. By 2030, he wants more than two-thirds of U.S. Honda and Acura volume to come from green cars such as traditional hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles, and battery electric vehicles.

The NeuV, which stands for New Electric Urban Vehicle, made its European show debut in Geneva. It will offer owners both transport mode for personal trips and a revenue model for automated ridesharing when the owner doesn’t need to use it. Honda said the idea was conceived over the fact that privately-owned vehicles tend to sit idle 96 percent of the time.

The urban electric concept car was demonstrated as part of the automaker’s ‘Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem’ at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, showing the potential power of artificial intelligence, robotics, and big data. In Geneva, the company said NeuV will be a showcase for an “emotion engine” called HANA (Honda Automated Network Assistant), which learns from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgments. Past decisions by drivers will be collected in the stored data to make future recommendations.

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Riders in the NeuV will have access to a full touch-panel interface enabling both the driver and passenger to access NeuV’s easy-to-use experience. A panoramic windscreen and a sloping belt line were designed to make maneuvering simple.

The two seats have luggage space behind them, where Honda’s ‘Kick ’n Go’ electric scooter concept bike can be stored. The concept bike was inspired by Honda’s original scooter of the same name launched in the 1970s.

The automaker is also showcasing the Clarity Fuel Cell model in Geneva. The hydrogen-powered car’s arrival in the European market is part of Europe’s HyFIVE (Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles) initiative supporting adoption of fuel cell vehicles and building a viable hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the region.

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