Honda announced its electrification plans for China yesterday, pledging to launch only electrified models from 2030 in the world’s largest car market.
In the virtual press conference, the Japanese automaker also unveiled three concept cars previewing a four-door GT, a two-door coupe and an SUV from the upcoming e:N Series of all-electric models.
While the production versions of these concept vehicles will arrive over the next five years, Honda has also unveiled two EVs that will go on sale in China in spring 2022.
Called the e:NS1 and e:NP1, they are essentially the same car but will be built in different factories by Honda’s two local joint ventures, Dongfeng Honda and GAC Honda, respectively. Presented as special edition vehicles, these subcompact electric crossovers are obviously related to the ICE model sold in other parts of the world as the HR-V or Vezel—and in China as the XR-V and Vezel.
Previewed by the SUV e:Prototype at Auto Shanghai 2021, the design of the all-electric Honda HR-V has been unveiled a few days ago by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) as part of the homologation process for the local market.
Compared to the third-generation Honda HR-V e:HEV hybrid, the e:NS1 and e:NP1 EVs look slightly different thanks to the closed-off grille housing the charging port behind the Honda logo and the additional spoiler beneath the rear screen (which could be exclusive to the special editions, though).
Everything else is pretty much identical on the outside. As for the interior, it looks more modern than the HR-V thanks to the addition of a 15.2-inch HD center display and a 10.25-inch liquid-crystal digital cluster, both part of the e:N OS integrated system consisting of Honda Sensing, Honda Connect and a smart Digital Cockpit.
According to the information posted on the MIIT website, the Honda e:NS1 features a front-mounted electric motor producing 150 kW (201 hp), enough for a top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h). The motor is powered by a 68.8-kWh battery pack offering a driving range (NEDC) of more than 500 kilometers (310 miles), as mentioned by Honda’s presentation you can watch in the above video.
The automaker says both the e:NS1 and e:NP1 are based on the e:N Architecture F, but it’s not clear whether it’s a variation of the EV-dedicated e:N Architecture that will underpin future e:N Series EVs or an adaptation of the platform used in the regular HR-V.
It’s also not clear whether Honda will offer the all-electric HR-V outside China; the automaker said that future e:N Series electric vehicles will be exported globally but it remains to be seen if that includes the e:NS1/e:NP1.