Honda developing electric-car platform with sporting intentions

While much of the auto industry has flocked to embrace electric cars and their associated modular architectures, Honda has been rather quiet.

That changed this year when the Japanese brand unveiled the Honda e, which unlike the Clarity Electric and its 89-mile range, will formidably challenge rival EVs. Despite the wonderful retro-hatchback design, Honda has no plans to sell the e in the United States, but there’s news of grander things afoot. At a presentation last week, Honda provided early details about a new global electric-car platform that will also serve the U.S. market. To enthusiasts’ delight, Honda has sporting intentions for the architecture.

2020 Honda E prototype

2020 Honda E prototype

Automotive News (subscription required) reported on the meeting held last week in a Monday report and noted the platform is scheduled to underpin the first cars before 2025. It will provide the basis for everything from compact and mid-size sedans to crossovers and have a rear-wheel-drive layout. Another motor mounted up front will easily create an all-wheel-drive system.

The platform will be better suited to vehicles sold in the U.S., where consumers often prefer larger cars. Unlike the Honda e, which is more of a city runabout, the new platform aims to fit larger batteries to create longer ranges. “Long-distance travel” was a phrase used as one of the platform’s goals. In a country like the U.S., that’s important to car owners.

2020 Honda E prototype

2020 Honda E prototype

As part of its baked-in flexibility, the platform will accommodate batteries from various suppliers. Right now, the e only fits Panasonic batteries. Although Honda said battery widths will be static, the size of the battery in kwh will be able to shift to accommodate the specific vehicle’s body style and other factors. Again, this refers to larger vehicles popular in the U.S. and even China.

Now, to the good stuff. Honda targets a perfect 50/50 weight distribution for all electric cars built on the electric-car architecture. In combination with an RWD layout, that’s a tantalizing prospect. Suddenly, we’re not too upset the Honda e won’t reach these shores because it sounds like the best is yet to come from Honda’s electric cars.

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