Honda E:N series electrified cars go on sale next year in China first, with a total of 10 cars to be launched in the next five years and some models to be global
Tokyo, Japan – Honda has made its long-awaited announcement of a full lineup of production electrified vehicles, with the first debut of these new cars to be in China.
Most relevant and interesting to us in Singapore? The fact that Honda says “Honda is planning global exports of e:N Series models developed and produced in China to deliver new value to a greater number of customers around the world.”
That’s a reflection of the Chinese EV market as not just the biggest, but also a very competitive and dynamic one. There are more than 300 EV brands in China alone.
Honda has named its electrified cars the ‘e:N Series’ (which we will refer to as the E:N Series here). The first two E:N cars will debut in China as early as April 2022. E stands for E:Technology, Honda’s catchall term for its electrification tech, and N stands for’ New/Next’.
Shown here, they are named the E:NS 1 and E:NP 1. Honda has not released any further information on these two models – such as segment, size, or justification for the weird names – but from what they look like, at least one appears to be a fully-electric version of the third-gen HR-V.
Honda looks like its playing it very safe here with the BEVS – see the ‘spelt out’ logo, full width lightbar, and blanked off grille, all hallmarks of BEVs currently on the market.
That ties in with the other carmakers’ early forays into BEVs – make an electric version of a popular SUV because it simplifies packaging and encourages sales from a younger target audience. The Mercedes-Benz EQA, which just launched in Singapore, is an excellent case in point.
Further afield, E:N will have 10 models over the next five years, and by 2030, Honda will not have any new gasoline-only models on the markt.
three concept cars show where the brand will head next: The cars show an SUV, Coupe, and four-door GT. They display a unified design language with bold LED light signatures and angular aesthetics.
Behind the scenes, Honda will build these new vehicles in China with its joint venture partners GAC Honda and Dongfeng Honda, both of whom will update their factories and lines to be ‘environmentally responsible’ plants. Honda will also ‘accelerate its collaboration’ with its battery partner, CATL.
Prior to this Honda’s battery electric vehicle efforts have been very limited – it, along with Toyota, have been behind the curve in fully-electric cars although both brands have a strong showing in hybrid technology. But with Toyota throwing its weight behind its new EV sub-brand BZ, and Honda now shifting gears, it looks like the slow weight of the EV pendulum is gaining unstoppable momentum.
At the same time, Honda also announced further measures to become a greener, safer automaker. Earlier, Honda announced a next-gen version of its Sensing driver assistance system, the Honda Sensing 360 omnidirectional ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) which will again kick off in China next year, and expand to all Hondas globally by 2030.
10 models by 2030 sounds impressive, but pretty much the rest of the car industry has already announced similar plans earlier. Whether Honda is on the back foot here or can catch up remains to be seen, as even Jaguar has plans to switch to no-gas-only by 2025.
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