Honda has revealed an all-new electric vehicle (EV), the Urban EV Concept, at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The concept car is built on a completely new platform, and sets the direction for the technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model.
“This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019,” says Honda Motor Company president and CEO Takahiro Hachigo.
He confirmed that electrified technology (hybrid, or full electric) will now feature in every new Honda car model launched in Europe. At a global level, Honda aims to have electrified technology in two thirds of its new car sales by 2030.
Honda also announced that new methods for managing energy transfers between the grid, homes and EVs could provide revenue opportunities for EV owners in the future.
Honda’s Power Manager Concept, revealed alongside the Urban EV Concept in Frankfurt, is a smart system designed to incorporate EVs into a smart power grid.
“The Power Manager system . . . uses advanced technology to intelligently integrate the electric vehicle into the wider power network, so it is no longer just a consumer but also a contributor to the grid," says Honda Motor Europe senior VP Philip Ross. "It underlines our pledge to develop a more sustainable mobility model.”
Honda will apply its Power Manager technology as part of a smart grid pilot scheme in the west of France.
Power Manager works by aggregating and distributing energy to and from the grid, solar panel-equipped homes or workplaces, and EVs.
Electricity is received into the system from the grid, or is generated by solar panels. This electricity can be used to power and heat the building, as well as to charge the EV.
While the EV is plugged in, energy from the vehicle can be stored and used at home, or sold back to the grid, potentially generating revenue for EV owners.
The Power Manager system can also help to stabilise the grid at times of either short or surplus supply.
Honda Motor Europe will supply Power Manager units to the SMILE project (Smart Ideas to Link Energies) in a smart grid pilot scheme.
The pilot project will see solar panels and Honda Power Managers installed to create a smart power grid, where energy can be used to charge EVs, power buildings, and feed electricity back into the grid when required.
The SMILE project, backed by the French Ministries of Industry and Energy, is operating 17 interconnecting projects with the aim of creating a large smart power grid in western France by 2019.