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The Urban EV could be Honda’s first electric car for India

December 15, 2018, 04:33 PM IST by Bilal Ahmed Firfiray
The Urban EV could be Honda’s first electric car for India

-    It’s got cameras for wing mirrors. 

-    Production-ready Honda Urban EV was spotted for the first time in Germany.

-    Expected to be launched by the end of next year, India debut in around 2023.

Honda took everyone by surprise when it revealed the cutesy Urban EV Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept car debuted a completely new electric platform from the Japanese carmaker and put down design direction for future production electric vehicles from Honda. Now, less than a year since its concept preview, our spy sleuths spotted Honda testing the production-ready Urban EV on the streets of Germany for the first time. 

The production-ready prototype of the Urban EV has retained its original design and shape from the concept. It is still cutesy and pint-sized. However, unlike the two-door concept, the prototype gained two more doors and gave up on the multispoke alloy wheels. The raked C-pillar with zero overhangs is present with the same shoulder line as seen on the concept. Interestingly, the Urban EV prototype is also testing the virtual ORVM, where the conventional mirrors are replaced by cameras and its projections are displayed on a door mounted screen in the cabin. The position of the camera has changed though, from front fender to the conventional wing mirror’s spot. 

The headlights are still rounded and integrated into the gaping grille. There is an air-vent present on the bonnet but that might just be a gimmick. At the rear, the taillights are now circular as compared to the squared off design of the concept vehicle. And they have two horizontal bars in them along with circular illumination for turn indicators. The interior has dropped the massive widescreen floating screen of the concept but has retained a complete digital layout with at least four screens inside the cabin.

The Urban EV is low and wide in proportion and is 100mm shorter than the Jazz. There are no details about the electric powertrain available at the moment, but reportedly, Honda will use a high-density lightweight battery pack for at least 250kilometres of electric range.

Meanwhile, Honda India is planning to go electric in the country in the span of next five years. The first Honda EV for India would be a B-segment vehicle and we expect it to be the production version of the Urban EV Concept which could arrive by 2023. It might be adapted for Indian conditions. It will follow City hybrid in India and would later be joined by a pure-electric SUV as well. 

The production-ready Honda Urban EV might make an appearance at the upcoming 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but nothing has been confirmed at the moment.

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