Honda modular electric platform in the works – report

Honda is working on a global modular electric vehicle platform that will underpin electric vehicles in a range of bodystyles, ranging from crossovers to sedans. These are meant for worldwide markets, including China and the United States, according to Automotive News.

This will not be the same as the architecture which underpins the Honda e hatchback, which is built from a dedicated platform. Future models from the global modular platform will, however, be rear-wheel-drive, like the e. Like the electric hatchback, models to come from this modular platform are slated to have 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution – great news for fans of cars with well-balanced chassis.

“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,” said Honda managing officer in charge of power unit development Ayumu Matsuo. The platform’s modularity will accommodate not just different body shapes and sizes, but also batteries and motors of different capacities, the report noted.

From this forthcoming platform, approximately Civic– and Accord-sized models based on this new modular EV platform can be expected, and would appear to offer a size and layout more typically associated with more premium models such as the Lexus IS, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

This being larger than the Honda e’s underpinnings, Honda’s global EV platform will prioritise standardisation, flexibility, size and performance, said general manager and chief engineer of Honda’s EV development division Tetsuya Hasebe. “(This platform) has a different aim from the Honda e. This one aims for intercity and long-distance travel,” said Hasebe.

Honda e platform in detail. Click to enlarge

Both the Honda e’s dedicated platform and the forthcoming modular EV platform employ flat floorboard batteries, though the newer modular setup enables the use of battery packs from a variety of suppliers, the report naming Panasonic and CATL to be among them; the Honda e uses Panasonic battery packs only.

The modular platform’s greater flexibility also allows for different vehicle widths, seat positions, wheel sizes and ground clearances, and the larger models to emerge from this will be meant for the North American and Chinese markets, said Hasebe. From a broader view, CEO Takahiro Hachigo has overhauled Honda’s research and development for a renewed focus on advanced technology and speed, the report noted.

“We have introduced a new structure which enables our engineers to take on new challenges. We have clearly divided areas of our R&D focus into advanced technology for creating new future value and the existing area for developing uniquely Honda products in collaboration with our other business operations,” Hachigo said.

The Japanese automaker aims to have two-thirds of its global line-up electrified by 2030, and have its entire European line-up electrified by 2025. Honda also wants electric vehicles to comprise 15% of its 2030 global sales – a big step from the 7% share held by its EVs and hybrids as of last year, Automotive News reported.

GALLERY: Honda e prototype

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