Honda will reportedly make commuter cars great again by introducing a modular electric vehicle (EV) platform that'll favor affordability, long cruising range, and everyone's favorite trait: performance.
Company CEO Takahiro Hachigo confirmed the platform's development at a media briefing last week, reports Automotive News. He and other Honda officials reportedly outlined the unnamed platform as one that'll underpin global offerings across multiple body styles and market segments, centered around sedans and crossovers in the compact to midsize segments. These could stand to capture market shares in regions such as China and the United States, where the appeal of the tiny Honda E city car is limited.
"This new architecture is designed to achieve smooth driving and highly efficient packaging. We believe it will meet the needs of customers who like our C-segment and D-segment models," explained Ayumu Matsuo, operating officer for Honda R&D America.
"It has a different aim from the Honda E," added Tetsuya Hasebe, the chief engineer for Honda's EV program. "This one aims for intercity, long-distance travel."
High modularity engineered into the platform should allow for these models to accept batteries from numerous suppliers, as multiple automakers predict EV batteries' demand could far outstrip supply in the next decade. As for the batteries themselves, they will reportedly be mounted in the platform's floor, lowering derivative vehicles' center of gravity and ensuring a balanced 50-50 weight distribution.
Near-ideal distribution of these vehicles' mass will also augment their handling, contributing to better performance, one of the other traits Honda wants present in its larger EVs. By default, vehicles on this platform will reportedly be rear-wheel-drive, though the platform will reportedly accommodate a front-axle motor for all-wheel-drive as deemed necessary. In theory, this all makes for a fine foundation for an electric sports car, the likes of which leaked in patent documents earlier this month.
Honda's first vehicles on this platform could reportedly launch before 2025, and Honda hopes they'll make up 15 percent of its global market share by 2030. By comparison, hybrids and EVs combined account for just seven percent of Honda's sales volume today. With Honda reportedly planning to fully electrify its offerings in some western markets, however, that number will climb whether or not consumers care about buying green cars.