Japanese automaker Honda is working on a new global modular electric vehicle platform that will underpin EVs in different body styles, ranging from crossovers to sedans.
According to Automotive News this will not be the same platform that underpins the Honda E electric hatchback, which is built from a dedicated platform. However future models from the new global modular platform will be rear-wheel-drive, and like the E, will have well-balanced chassis with 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution.
Honda Managing Officer in charge of power unit development Ayumu Matsuo said the platform will accommodate not just different body shapes and sizes, but also batteries and motors of different capacities.
“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.”
The new platform will give birth to Civic and Accord-sized EV models and being larger than the Honda E’s underpinnings, will priorities standardization, flexibility, size and enhanced performance. According to General Manager and Chief Engineer of Honda’s EV development division Tetsuya Hasebe:
“This platform has a different aim from that of Honda E. This one aims for intercity and long-distance travel.”
Both 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 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, added Hasebe.
Honda’s CEO Takahiro Hachigo has overhauled research and development for a renewed focus on advanced technology and speed. Hachigo said:
“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.”
Honda aims to have two-third of its global line-up electrified by 2030, and have its entire European line-up electrified by 2025. Honda also wants EVs to comprise 15% of its 2030 global sales and the development of the new modular EV platform is a step towards achieving that goal.