Auto Shanghai is this week, the first major auto show since the pandemic started, and the concepts and reveals are coming hot and heavy. You can disregard a lot of it — remember auto shows? — but the Honda SUV e:prototype seems like one that will stick around.
That’s because Honda says that it’ll be the basis for its first EV in China, where Honda plans to introduce 10 EVs over the next five years.
The mass-production model based on the Honda SUV e:prototype is scheduled to go on sale in spring 2022 as the symbolic first Honda-brand EV in China. Moreover, striving to attain its goal to “realize carbon neutrality by 2050,” Honda will evolve a number of comprehensive strategies while viewing the “electrified society” from a broad perspective beyond the electrification of products.
Honda also said Monday that it has this PHEV in the works, called the Breeze:
Honda did not say if either of these cars would be sold in other countries, nor did it give any details like range, power, price or anything else about the e:prototype or Breeze. It did, however, say the the EVs will have the third-generation of Honda Connect, its infotainment system, which is what we’ve been reduced to.
That is, instead of talk of engines or transmissions at auto shows now, we get talk of operating systems and semiautonomous driving features.
In addition, the technology presentation booth is exhibiting the third-generation Honda CONNECT which was introduced last month (March 2021) in China and Honda’s omnidirectional ADAS*2 the next-generation advanced safety and driver-assistive system, enabling visitors to experience new technologies that contribute to the safety and comfort of everyday mobility.
Based on the AI personal assistant equipped with highly sophisticated voice recognition capability, this third-generation Honda CONNECT offers functions full of advanced value, including functions to enable operation of smart home appliances and online shopping while driving, operation of the vehicle through a smartphone link such as a digital key and OTA updates.
If every auto show is now CES, that will be drag; it sure is heading in that direction. Keep an eye on the styling of the e:prototype, though, as this is likely to be what a lot of the Hondas of the future will look like. Lots of blue, lots of lights, lots of things to remind you that it is very electric.