A new electric hatchback presented by Honda at this year’s Geneva Motor Show may make it’s way to Australian shores, the carmaker’s Aussie director has said.
The retro-inspired Urban EV concept that was unveiled with an updated, sleeker design at the annual motor show was previously not on the cards for Australia due to “very, very low” demand, but it seems that Honda may change its mind.
“We definitely want it. As an urban funky looking runabout, absolutely,” Honda’s Australian director Stephen Collins told Car Advice.
The Honda EV is due to go on sale first in Europe in early 2020 with order books due to open soon. It features a wider body and less boxy windscreen than its previous 2017 incarnation, and has been developed “with a focus on functionality and purpose“.
It also has add-ons such as cameras instead of side mirrors, and a LED display between its headlights on which the carmaker displays an illuminated Honda logo.
If Honda does decide to bring the production version of the Urban EV concept, it would join an influx of new electric cars being released on the Australian market.
Exact specifications such as range and battery size have not yet been announced by the Japanese carmaker, which wants a quarter of its car sales to be electric by 2025.
While Honda had backed away from the hybrid and electric car space in Australia previously citing financial reasons, it is now looking forward to the future of mobility.
“We helped pioneer hybrids in Australia since the original Insight (in 2001). We quit hybrids because the market was so small… we couldn’t make it economically stack up and we had a lot of other priorities in our business,” Collins said.
But while Honda has now also confirmed that its hybrid 2020 Accord will definitely come to Australia in late 2019, the same has not been confirmed for the plug-in hybrid Clarity.
As for price, although official pricing for Europe for the Urban EV has not yet been announced, experts expect it will be in the vicinity of £25,000 ($A46,800 at today’s rates), which could pitch it in the $A50,000-55,000 price range if and when it does arrive.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.