Honda’s March 2020 press conference delivered by Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe – view the full press conference in the video below.
The press conference reinforces Honda’s Electric Vision and its bold commitment that all mainstream models sold in Europe will be electrified by the end of 2022. The next step on this journey will be this year, with the introduction of the fully-electric Honda e and the all-new Jazz with hybrid technology. Through 2021 and 2022, four further new models will be introduced, including a new SUV and an additional electric vehicle. Honda’s branding will also change to reflect this vision, with every next-generation electrified product or energy management innovation coming under the collective name of ‘Honda e:TECHNOLOGY’.
In addition, Honda understands the importance of charging solutions for EV customers and this year will see Honda introduce its first commercial Energy Management solution, called e:PROGRESS. This solution will allow customers to take advantage of the most cost-effective electricity prices, whilst also optimising the use of electricity from renewable sources. The press conference also details Honda’s commitment that all future European models will have intuitive and seamless advanced connectivity available.
All new Honda Jazz e:HEV
The all-new Honda Jazz provides an effortless driving experience with efficient and responsive performance delivered by e:HEV hybrid technology as standard. The all-new compact car offers the most compelling package in its segment, combining increased occupant comfort, intuitive technology, with seamless in-car connectivity and remote services that seamlessly integrate with occupants' everyday lives. The car will be available across Europe in summer 2020.
To broaden the appeal of the model, the rugged Jazz Crosstar variant presents a more SUV-style proposition, orientated toward those with active lifestyles. The model's increased presence comes from a bold front grille design, substantial black trim and stylish side sills and roof rails. The Crosstar-specific alloy wheels, which widen towards the rim, create an increased sense of stability and enhance the overall robust visual effect.
Advanced e:HEV hybrid technology
For the first time, the Jazz will be sold exclusively across Europe with an advanced hybrid powertrain. Carrying Honda's new e:HEV badge, the all-new Jazz has been engineered to deliver an exceptional blend of strong performance and impressive efficiency, to complement its class-leading levels of interior comfort and ultimate usability.
The e:HEV system is newly developed for Jazz and engineered to deliver an enjoyable driving experience. It comprises two compact, powerful electric motors connected to a 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC petrol engine, a lithium-ion battery and an innovative fixed-gear transmission via an intelligent power control unit, which all work harmoniously together to provide a smooth and direct response.
The total output of 109 PS / 80kW can propel the car to 100km/h in 9.4 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 175 km/h. The effect is an effortless and comfortable journey, whether travelling through urban areas or cruising at high speed on motorways. Its fuel-efficient hybrid system produces CO2 emissions from 102 g/km (WLTP) and fuel economy of 4.5l/100km (WLTP) on the standard model and 110 g/km (WLTP) and 4.8l/100km (WLTP) on the Crosstar.
Honda commits to roll out of advanced connectivity features across its European range
Honda announced today that all forthcoming models will feature advanced connectivity technologies. The first example of this commitment is the availability of the My Honda+ application and Honda Personal Assistant on Honda e and all-new Jazz and Jazz Crosstar.
Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe, commented, “Today’s customer expects their vehicle to connect seamlessly with their wider life. Honda’s development of next-generation connectivity can clearly be seen with the launch of features such as Honda Personal Assistant and My Honda+. We are committed to widening the availability of these features to meet the expectation of our customer.”
My Honda+ app
Honda has launched its My Honda+ smartphone app to keep owners connected to their car remotely. The smartphone-based service has been redesigned with a simple, intuitive user experience that provides secure access to a range of in-car functions, including comfort, convenience and security features.
The My Honda+ app offers control of vehicle security, including Remote Vehicle Lock and Unlock of the car. For Honda e owners, an additional Digital Key function allows vehicle access to be securely shared with up to five others. Digital Key works via Bluetooth and enables owners to remotely close windows and open the charge lid as well as locking and unlocking the vehicle.
In the unlikely event of a vehicle breakdown, My Honda+ includes a ‘Digital Roadside Assistance’ feature. This allows customers to make a direct call to their subscribed roadside assistance provider with their vehicle (GPS) details automatically shared. The app also provides location monitoring and car tracking via GPS. Intelligent Geofencing can be activated to alert the owner if the vehicle breaches a pre-set ‘geofence’ zone and to further strengthen vehicle security, a notification is delivered to the smartphone app if the car's security alarm is activated.
For added security all vehicles feature E-Call for roadside assistance as standard. In the event of an emergency, such as airbag deployment, the car's location is automatically shared with the relevant emergency services.
Convenience features include the ability to send journey information, such as destination details and points of interest, from the My Honda+ app to the car’s navigation system. In the Honda e, the navigation system also incorporates data from the battery range monitor and will factor in charge point locations when long distance journeys beyond the full range of the car are required.
The app also provides Honda e owners with access to EV-specific functions. This includes Remote Battery Charge Control and Scheduler, which monitors the car's charging status and allows charging to be started or paused remotely. A charging calendar function allows charging times to be set on a daily schedule, allowing charging to occur when the most cost-effective energy tariffs are available. Honda e owners can also remotely access the car's climate control system and set the temperature to either cooler, normal and warmer before they enter the vehicle.
Honda Personal Assistant with AI
Infotainment and connectivity features in Honda e and Jazz can be activated using voice commands through Honda Personal Assistant. First seen in the Honda e and now available on the all-new Jazz, the intuitive Honda Personal Assistant is a smart artificial intelligence (AI) agent which harnesses natural, smart instruction-based conversations and contextual understanding to access a range of online services.
Honda Personal Assistant assesses command inputs with a level of complexity beyond the capabilities of other voice activated virtual assistants. The system is capable of understanding multiple requests at any one time, for more exact responses to specific queries. An owner can ask, for example: "OK Honda, find me an Italian restaurant with free parking, WiFi, that is open now." The Honda Personal Assistant locates suitable options and presents them on the touchscreen interface, before plotting the optimal route to the chosen location and displaying it on the navigation screen.
New intuitive connectivity
Honda Personal Assistant is just one feature of Honda’s redesigned infotainment systems. Both cars feature simple-to-use LCD touchscreen interfaces, designed to minimise driver distraction. In the Jazz, the simplification of the menu navigation has reduced operation time for the most regularly used controls by 58%, compared with the previous model, providing a safer operating experience. To support this, Honda has reinstated physical controls for key functions, with tactile, ergonomic dials for heating and ventilation settings across the range.
Honda interfaces are navigated using familiar smartphone-style usability, with swipe controls to browse through recently used applications and media lists. Displays can be configured to suit user preference, incorporating customisable shortcuts to frequently used functions and audio sources.
In the Honda e, the dual ultra-wide 12.3-inch LCD touchscreens allow content to easily be swapped across the two screens, enabling the driver to utilise content on both screens with simplicity and ease. This function also allows the passenger to swipe content such as navigation instructions to the driver’s screen. And because the dual screen set-up allows two applications to be displayed side-by-side, the driver and front passenger can independently select and view separate apps. So, for example, while the driver follows navigation instructions, the front passenger can search for a music playlist.
Further connected features and applications are accessed via the touchscreen or are voice activated, including weather information, parking locations, music, navigation, location finding, and telephone services. The comprehensive suite of in-built apps can be supplemented by smartphone mirroring via built-in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. Apple CarPlay can now be accessed wirelessly for the first time.
Both Honda e and Jazz also feature a WiFi hotspot capability, allowing passengers access to the internet. For Honda e owners, occupants can watch video content on one of the screens during charging sessions, while the second screen shows the charging status.
To achieve optimum stress-free ownership, Honda will deliver over-the-air updates to ensure that features and apps benefit from enhancements and new functions. The owner’s manual can also be easily accessed via the infotainment system. Honda Personal Assistant will open the owner’s manual on the relevant page to provide an answer.
Available in Europe from summer 2020, the Honda e is designed without compromise and with a focus on functionality and usability. The Honda e features a seamless, sleek and modern appearance. From the signature front and rear LED light combinations and stylish glass charging port cover, to the clean lines and flush features that optimise aerodynamic efficiency and refinement, the Honda e reimagines the identity of a small Honda for the next era of urban mobility.
Complementing the simple and clean exterior styling, the interior uses subtle, contemporary materials to create a relaxing lounge-like ambience that immediately insulates occupants from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The generous wheelbase allows passenger space comparable with that of cars in the segment above, with step-through access contributing to the spacious interior environment.
The all-new EV-specific platform has been engineered to deliver fun and effortless electric performance with exceptional driving characteristics in urban environments. A powerful electric motor, compact proportions, 4.3m turning radius, 50:50 weight distribution and low centre of gravity all combine to give the car a sporty and dynamic character. The result is a quiet, smooth and rewarding drive with instant acceleration to help navigate busy streets with ease. The advanced electric drivetrain employs proven Honda electrification technologies, with fast-charge capability to meet the demands of everyday commuting. The high-capacity 35.5 kWh battery provides a range of 222 km (WLTP), with 80% of charge added in just 30 minutes of rapid charging.
Honda to introduce “e:PROGRESS” – first commercial Energy Management service with flexible tariff for EV owners
Honda has today announced further detail of its first commercial Energy Management service – under the new brand ‘e:PROGRESS’ - which will come to market during 2020.
e:PROGRESS will offer a smart charger, smart tariff, and a smart charge control system to deliver optimal charging for users. The smart tariff will be the first flexible energy contract specifically tailored to Electric Vehicle (EV) owners available in Europe, optimising the use of electricity from renewable sources including solar power, wind farms and hydropower. The service also allows charging at the most cost-effective time, relative to grid demand.
The new service will be offered in collaboration with smart charging and aggregation specialist Moixa, and leading European energy supplier, Vattenfall. Through Moixa’s GridShare ‘smart charge’ system, customers simply specify their preferred parameters for minimum state of charge through a smartphone app, leaving the system to manage charging. Electricity supply is provided by Vattenfall, with a flexible ‘time of use’ tariff offering lower cost energy at certain time of the day than a fixed tariff.
The combination of both Moixa and Vattenfall allows EV owners to charge their car to a schedule which makes optimum use of the most affordable and clean energy available. The preferred hardware solution (smart charger) for the new service is Honda’s Power Charger, a domestic unit which will charge a Honda e from zero to 100% capacity from a 32-amp power supply in just over four hours, significantly faster than a standard domestic wall socket.
As well as offering a unique set of benefits to customers, e:PROGRESS will help the grid by supporting active grid management to effectively stabilise demand and to optimise the use of renewables, while also supporting Honda in meeting its CO2 reduction targets in line with the company’s 2030 vision.
Jørgen Pluym, Energy Management Project Leader, Honda Motor Europe, comments: “The introduction of e:PROGRESS marks a key milestone for Honda in the development of our Energy Management business here in Europe, bringing together all of our work to date to offer real value to EV owners. This is our first move into a service business model in the energy space, and we are committed to continuing to invest and develop in this area as part of the move towards electrification and widespread adoption of electric vehicles.”
The launch of e:PROGRESS follows Honda’s first vehicle-to-grid project going live in January, with the installation of bi-directional chargers in Islington, London. This project is a first step in helping the local council electrify its entire fleet in line with its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030. The project, delivered in partnership with Moixa using its GridShare smart software, optimises EV battery charging when power from the grid is at its cheapest and cleanest. It can also aggregate groups of plugged-in EVs to send power back to the grid when it is at its most expensive and carbon-intensive.
Honda’s Power Charger will come to market in line with first customer deliveries of the Honda e this summer, with the full e:PROGRESS service live within 2020. The new service will be available in the UK initially, with Germany and other European countries to follow.