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Honda's EV Plan for America Includes a Modular Platform

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【Summary】Honda’s playing it slow with electric cars in the U.S., but the automaker’s next move is to introduce a global EV platform for multiple markets.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jul 21, 2019 6:00 AM PT
Honda's EV Plan for America Includes a Modular Platform

Honda's played it slow with electric cars. Instead of full-on electric vehicles, Honda has invested more in hybrids. The brand currently has five electrified vehicles, one of which utilizes fuel cell technology. Playing it slow, though, has given Honda the ability to see what other brands are doing and formulate a profitable and competitive plan for the future. That plan, apparently, includes a modular EV platform.

Honda Joins Modular Platform Party

In a report, Automotive News claims that Honda is set to introduce a modular EV platform that will be used in vehicles for America, China, and other markets. The architecture will be available before 2025 and, thanks to its modularity, will be used in all types of vehicles spanning sedans to crossovers. As Honda sees it, the platform will help bring EVs to markets that won't get the cute little Honda e that recently came out .

The Honda e will only be available in Europe and Japan, but the upcoming electric cars that are based on the new platform will share some similarities. Rear-wheel drive, for instance, will be offered with the platform. A variety of body shapes, sizes, batteries, and motor configurations will also be available.

"This new architecture is designed to achieve smooth driving and highly efficient packaging," said Ayumu Matsuo, Honda R&D America's operating officer. "We believe it will meet the needs of customers who like our C-segment and D-segment models."

Modular platforms appear to be the way forward for autonomous making the switch to electric vehicles. Developing and manufacturing electric cars is much more expensive than it is for a regular vehicle, so taking the long route and coming out with a modular platform that can be used on multiple cars is the more cost-effective choice. The way modular platforms can be fitted with different battery sizes and electric motors is more effective, as well.

Honda isn't the only automaker to be looking toward a modular platform. Toyota recently entered the fray with an announcement that it would unveil a unique EV platform that would be used for six different cars – a large SUV, a medium SUV, a medium crossover, a minivan, a medium sedan, and a compact.

Going Electric Is A Must For Honda

For Honda, coming out with electric cars in the near future is a must. Honda, which is one of the largest automakers in the world, doesn't really have any real EVs to compete with Tesla, Chevrolet, Hyundai, or Kia. For a brand that wants to have electrified cars occupy two-thirds of its lineup by 2030, Honda's off to a slow start. Honda also expects EVs to account for 15 percent of its sales by that time. As Auto News points out, that's a large jump from what Honda's doing now, which is just 7 percent.

The four things Honda plans to prioritize with the modular platform include size, standardization, performance, and flexibility, claims Tetsuya Hasebe, general manager and chief engineer of Honda's EV development division.

"It has a different aim from the Honda e," said Hasebe, also claiming that the platform's ability to be fitted with extra batteries will result in longer drives. "This one aims for intercity, long-distance travel."

Having a sporty character will also be part of the new modular platform, as the vehicles that use the platform will have 50-50 weight distribution, rear-wheel drive, and have sporty handling. As with other electric cars, an electric motor can be added to the front wheels for all-wheel drive.

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