Honda Previews New Line Of EVs With Two Futuristic Concept Cars

Lacking a single electric model on sale in the U.S., Honda hasn’t embraced electrification quite as enthusiastically as some rivals. But that’s changing. 

On Tuesday at CES in Las Vegas, the Japanese automaker took the wraps off of two futuristic concept cars that preview a new lineup of EVs dubbed Honda 0. Honda has bold plans to launch 30 new electric models globally by 2030 and transition to exclusively zero-emission sales in the US by 2040. Tuesday’s announcement gives us a better sense of what that transformation will look like in practice. So let’s dive in. 

Two Concept EVs, One Going Into Production

The more significant concept car here is the Saloon, which will serve as the basis of the first Honda 0 production car come 2026. It will launch in 2026 in North America before hitting other markets. Honda says the long, sleek concept sits on a dedicated EV platform and has a “surprisingly spacious” interior made from sustainable materials. With a silhouette vaguely reminiscent of wedge-era cars like the Delorean DMC-12, it would be an EV that looks unlike anything else on the road today. 

It’s likely that the production car’s design will be significantly more restrained. (But here’s hoping that come 2026 you’ll be able to buy a Honda that looks just like this.)

Other features found in the Saloon that could make it into a future production vehicle: an airplane-style steering yoke and a steer-by-wire system. The latter means the steering wheel tells the wheels to turn electronically, not mechanically like usual. That type of setup could allow for some interesting capabilities. Turning the steering yoke the same amount could result in different turning behavior in a tight parking lot versus on the highway, for example. 

Honda electric car concepts CES 2024 (4)

Details are much more scant on the Space Hub concept, a rounded, van-looking thing with a big interior and two rows of seating that face one another. There’s no word yet on whether it’ll inspire a production vehicle, but you can bet that Honda will introduce an SUV to the Honda 0 portfolio sooner rather than later. That’s just what Americans crave. 

Honda 0 logo

The Honda 0 Series

Both concepts showcase a new design and engineering approach Honda’s using for the Honda 0 lineup.

Until then, the company’s first EVs for the US—the Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX SUVs, hitting roads this year—will borrow their underlying technology from General Motors. (And, I’ll add, the Ultium technology underpinning GM’s latest EVs has hit a few stumbling blocks during its prolonged development. Software glitches in a Chevrolet Blazer EV recently stranded our very own Kevin Williams.)

These next-generation vehicles will use EV technology that Honda is developing completely in-house. Until then, concrete details remain fairly scant. The range of these vehicles is anyone’s guess; Honda says it will be “ample.”

The company is prioritizing lightweight packaging, efficiency and new software features. Honda 0 vehicles will be powered by energy-dense batteries that can recharge from 15% to 80% in 10-15 minutes, faster than most vehicles today, the company said. Those batteries will degrade by less than 10% over 10 years. 

Honda electric car concepts CES 2024 (3)

The vehicles will come equipped with a Honda-developed operating system that uses AI to learn a driver’s needs and preferences over time. And they’ll offer a next-generation automated-driving system that will allow for hands-free driving on surface streets, according to Honda. Oh, and in another sign that Honda means business here, it’s introducing a new “H” logo to slap on these bad boys. 

We’ll have to wait and see how this all pans out come 2026 and beyond. In the meantime, we’re on site at CES and hope to hear more. Feel free to drop any burning questions for Honda executives, designers and engineers down below. 

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