WAKO, Japan — U.S. dealers will miss out on Honda's next electric car when it arrives this year.
But something bigger and better may be on the way.
Honda Motor Co. said last week it is planning a truly global electric vehicle platform to underpin larger EVs that are envisioned for the U.S., China and other markets. The architecture will arrive before 2025 and accommodate everything from crossovers to sedans.
They will not be the pint-sized e hatchback that Honda will first roll out for sale only in Europe and Japan, with its cool wraparound digital display. But like the low-volume e, the larger EVs will be rear-wheel drive, with their motor in the back.
Unlike the e, the U.S.-bound products will ride on a modular platform that can accommodate a wide range of body shapes and sizes as well as different batteries and motors.
"This new architecture is designed to achieve smooth driving and highly efficient packaging," said Ayumu Matsuo, Honda's managing officer in charge of power unit development. "We believe it will meet the needs of customers who like our C-segment and D-segment models."
The arrival of a dedicated EV platform firmly thrusts Honda into the global race for all-electric vehicles, following similar announcements by rivals at home and abroad. Just last month, Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled its own specialized EV platform to support six variations — a large SUV, a medium SUV, a medium crossover, a medium minivan, a medium sedan and a compact.
Honda's platform was one of several initiatives outlined last week by CEO Takahiro Hachigo and other executives at a future technology briefing here. The presentations covered everything from autonomous driving to mobility as a service, but the EV platform stood out.