Good news, fans of retro-styled electric cars! Honda has announced that it is indeed putting its Urban EV electric car into production.
You’ll remember that the Urban EV concept was unveiled last year to much fanfare. Yes, on one hand, it’s a boring electric city car, but on the other hand, just look at it. It’s pure 1980s hot hatch, with short overhangs, boxy styling and massive wheels under beautifully flared arches.
What the production Urban EV will look like, we don’t know. However, Honda has said that a few things from the concept will have to get the chop. For example, the production version will need wing mirrors, and the front and rear LED displays will have to go, too. On the inside, you can also forget about the wrap-around screens – they aren’t illegal, but they’ll cost too much for Honda to produce at scale.
So instead, you can expect a pretty standard hatchback layout on the inside, with two seats in the front and space for three in the back. It’ll still be small, though – Honda wants to make the Urban EV shorter than a Jazz, and it wants the car to carry the same aggressive stance. Finally, an electric car that doesn’t play up to a cutesy, friendly stereotype (*cough* Nissan Leaf *cough*).
In terms of how it’ll be powered, Honda really hasn’t let much slip yet. However, because this is a city car (the clue’s in the name), it’s unlikely to offer a massive range – we’d reckon no more than 300 km on a full charge. It’s also a pretty safe bet that the production Urban EV will have a relatively straightforward front-wheel-drive set-up.
Prices haven’t been announced yet – production isn’t even meant to begin until next year. However, we reckon that, when it does actually come to market, you can expect to pay around AED 150,000 for your Urban EV – if it makes it over to the Middle East, that is.
The good news, though, is that Honda expects the Urban EV to provide a platform on which a whole bunch of other electric car models can sit. Unfortunately, the equally stunning Sports EV concept won’t be making production, but there’s apparently room for different configurations.
And, Honda says, it expects prices for electric cars to drop significantly over the next few years. Prices might even reach parity with petrol-powered cars within 10 years.
So, would you ditch your Toyota Yaris for one of these?