Honda Urban EV 2019: specs, prices and on-sale date

Interior of the Honda Urban EV revealed for the first time ahead of Geneva Motor Show debut

The interior of the upcoming Honda Urban EV has been shown (gallery above) for the first time, ahead of the electric car’s debut in prototype form at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.

The single image released so far reveals several developments from 2017’s concept car: while the long, digital screen remains, it has been split into sections across the length of the dashboard.

Honda says the infotainment system features a “clean design” and “intuitive technology”, representing a break from the systems used on its current range.

The middle portion of the screen controls the sat nav, vehicle settings and a ‘Personal Assistant’ feature, while the right portion houses DAB radio and charging information.

However, the Japanese carmaker has resisted the temptation to digitise all of the controls: buttons for voice control, cruise control and volume adjustment can been seen on the steering wheel, in addition to a camera button on the right stalk.

Traditional climate control dials are found on the centre console, and Honda has added a number of buttons to the wooden trim above the vents. Two 230V power outlets and one 12V outlet feature as well, as do a pair of USB sockets and a single HDMI port. The graphics also indicate that the Urban EV’s charger will plug in via a port located on the bonnet of the car.

The Honda Urban EV – which will be manufacturer’s first electric car – is currently undergoing testing, and is scheduled to go on sale later in 2019. It'll spearhead a range of electric cars in the pipeline from the Japanese manufacturer, which hopes two-thirds of its cars will feature electric or hybrid powertrains by 2025.

We first saw the Urban EV as a concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, where the public response was overwhelmingly positive. Honda’s designers have been working hard to make sure the production car closely resembles the concept, although this a teaser image released earlier in the year suggests it'll take on a more conservative appearance.

Honda Urban EV design

The look of the Urban EV concept generated a lot of interest, and it’s easy to see why. It managed to mix the retro looks of the 1970s Honda Civic outside with a cutting-edge, minimalist interior dominated by a digital screen running the full width of the dashboard.

There were also plenty of details on the car that previewed the direction that Honda design will take in the future. For example, the backlit blue logo will appear on all of Honda’s electric cars, while the display between the headlights shows charging status when it’s plugged in.

Recent spy shots have suggested that the production version of the car will be toned down before it hits showrooms. The most noticeable difference is that the three-door design has been ditched in favour of a more practical five-door body, while the nose and pillars have been made bulkier to add strength for safety.

Battery

Perhaps the most important thing that Honda has yet to reveal is how the car will be powered. There’s been no word yet on how big its battery will be, how powerful its electric motors will be and what sort of range we can expect.

However, given the concept’s name, it seems fair to expect that it’s intended for use around the city, so won’t need a particularly long range. Something in the region of 200 miles would be enough, and we can only assume that the car will be compatible with the latest fast-charging technology.

Release date

March’s Geneva Motor Show will be the first time we get to see the Honda Urban EV prototype in the flesh, and it’s unclear how much the design will continue to evolve again before it reaches production.

Order books are expected to open soon, with the car set to go on sale before the year is out.