Honda’s Road to Electrification
It’s been a bumpy road to electrification for Honda. Over a year ago, the company announced an electrification roadmap based on working with General Motors before transitioning to its own EV platform. Then, earlier in 2023, General Motors announced some delays in rolling out vehicles based on its Ultium Platform, which Honda was going to leverage for some of its new models. Now, outside of the Prologue SUV landing early in 2024, Honda’s going it alone – and is set to show off a series of global EV products in January.
New Global EV Models Launching
That’s an incredibly fast turnaround for Honda, showcasing its ability to rapidly innovate in a changing world. Next month, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Honda promises that it will showcase not only a number of global EV series models, but also several key new technologies that will support them.
The press conference in Las Vegas, on January 9, will be hosted by global CEO Toshihiro Mibe as well as global executive vice president Shinji Aoyama. The two will speak about Honda’s new vision for an electrified future. The first new models will be the start of a global product offensive, which will grow to 30 new electric cars globally by 2030. By 2030, Honda says it will be selling 2 million electric vehicles globally.
In North America, Honda also has an aggressive timeline to electrify. By 2040, the company says its entire new vehicle portfolio in the U.S. will be zero-emissions, and a combination of battery electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles. (Honda actually has a history of selling fuel cell vehicles: the Clarity plug-in hybrid was originally a fuel cell vehicle when it was introduced over a decade ago.)
Prologue: The First Honda EV SUV
In the meantime, we have the Honda Prologue to look forward to. The first act in the company’s EV transformation, it is a spacious, rugged SUV built on the same platform as the excellent Chevrolet Blazer EV. With an EPA-estimated range of 300 miles, and a starting price in the upper $40,000s, the Prologue will be built in the U.S., and should therefore be eligible for the $7,500 federal tax incentive.
The Prologue leans on a big 85-kWh battery pack that can recharge at up to 155 kW – not class-leading, but fast enough to take on an EPA-estimated 65 miles of range for every 10 minutes of charging. The all-wheel drive version has an estimated 288 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque; there will also be a two-wheel drive version available in time.
Thanks to a very long 120-inch wheelbase, the Prologue also has an incredibly spacious cabin – clean and sporty and finished with high-tech materials. It looks nothing like the slightly interior of the Blazer, and still has many physical buttons and switches for the most commonly used functions. Two 11-inch digital screens sit beside each other to provide comprehensive information, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, along with live access to Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play.
The first Prologue models will be delivered to American owners in early 2024, and we’re excited to see what else Honda has to share in January.