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Honda EV-N Electric Concept
Claims to not have been disinterested in EV's up until now

Honda may be a little behind company's like Chevrolet and Nissan when it comes to the development of greener vehicles, but the automaker is playing catch-up by announcing their plan to release an electric vehicle (EV) and a plug-in hybrid in the U.S. and Japan in 2012. Honda also announced that its next generation Civic Hybrid, which is to be released in 2011, will feature a lithium-ion battery pack.

It's likely that Honda will join its rivals like Nissan and GM by releasing an all-electric vehicle build around a lithium-ion battery pack. Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito said that its all-electric vehicle would be aimed at "commuters with a relatively short cruise range."

"Honda has no future unless we achieve significant reduction in CO2 emissions," said Ito. "The next 10 years will be a true test for Honda's survival."

Honda's recent interest in electric vehicles isn't its first crack at greener technology, though. The Tokyo-based Honda makes the CR-Z and the Insight hybrids, and there are plans underway to build a plant in Yorii, Saitama near Tokyo specifically for Earth-friendly models. Honda aims to begin production at this plant in 2013. In addition, there is talk about Honda building yet another plant in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, but there is no set date for production.

Other carmakers will be releasing electric vehicles in 2012 as well, such as Toyota, who is teaming up with Tesla Motors Inc. to build an electric version of Toyota's RAV4 crossover. Several others are releasing (or have released) their EV's as soon as this year, such as Nissan's Leaf and the Mitsubishi iMiEV.

With so many others hopping on the EV bandwagon, it makes sense that Honda would follow. But critics have made accusations in the past saying that Honda was "disinterested" in electric vehicles, which Ito denies. With the lack of details given in Honda's EV announcement, some are still unsure of Honda's intentions. 

"The plan is for a product that is two years away," said Toshiyuki Fukuda, a freelance auto writer that is skeptical of Honda's latest announcement. "Maybe it just wants to ride on the EV boom."

Honda plans to improve their gas-electric lineup by introducing many small, hybrid models within the next year, and will expand Japanese production by aiming for emerging markets like Indonesia, Africa, China and India.

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RE: The Honda mini?!
By mmntech on 7/20/2010 1:32:02 PM , Rating: 5
Tesla Motors has the right idea. More people would probably buy EVs if they didn't look so dorky.

RE: The Honda mini?!
By Mitch101 on 7/20/2010 1:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
Does this car come with a case of milk? My first impression when I saw it.

RE: The Honda mini?!
By quiksilvr on 7/20/2010 2:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't they stick their Civic headlights to this thing? That would make this thing look 100 times more appealing.

RE: The Honda mini?!
By BBeltrami on 7/20/2010 7:06:11 PM , Rating: 2
Like lipstick on a pig.

At least the Volt has some appeal. I'll never afford a Tesla. But this thing is an advertisement for visually innovative surrender.

*sigh* On the bright side, the future beats Woody Allen's "Sleeper". But Gene Roddenberry is spinning in his grave...

That car is so lame, Chuck Norris could simply look at it and it would implode out of sheer embarrassment, simultaneously proving the theory of tiny black holes, forwarding scientific knowledge by decades and benefiting all of mankind.

RE: The Honda mini?!
By The0ne on 7/20/2010 2:13:26 PM , Rating: 2

I was my first impression too. I think it's a bit of the styling but most definitely because of the color. How many members here remember when milk was in bottles? :)

Most definitely amusing first impression :D

RE: The Honda mini?!
By hughlle on 7/20/2010 2:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
haha, still get mine in glass bottles.

Mybe they're trying to be like the fiat 500 thing, but just failing, horribly.

RE: The Honda mini?!
By alanore on 7/20/2010 5:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah it looks like a Fiat 500 crossed with a Nissan Cube.

RE: The Honda mini?!
By pro5 on 7/20/2010 4:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
Definitely, there's whole bunch of youngish drivers out there who would love the benifits of electric (namely money saving more than environmental issues) but combined with a design that doesn't remind one of an invalid carriage.

Tesla's roadster, made cheaper (an electric VX220!!) made by a huge car company to bring costs down (toyota or honda rather than US or EUR) and many people would want the car regardless.

I don't see why electric cars need not be 'desirable' from a design and performance angle too. Of course at first they need to make the bland-mobiles to get the market share from joe-average and his 3 kids but come on something like the hey day of late 80s early 90s japanese sports cars but electric would boost general use of electric vehicles no end. Obviously we need to wait a bit longer for better/cheaper batteries and also for badge snobs to get over themselves and not wait for BMW etc.

RE: The Honda mini?!
By walk2k on 7/20/2010 4:41:45 PM , Rating: 2
More people... with $150,000 to blow on a car?

Actually it looks a lot like the original Honda 600, if you know your history...

The grill ... situation... there could use improvement, and the color scheme. But overall it's not a bad looking sub-mini.

RE: The Honda mini?!
By lukasbradley on 7/21/2010 9:19:24 AM , Rating: 2
People buy ugly cars all the time, regardless of their energy source. Just because YOU wouldn't buy it, or don't like the aesthetic, doesn't mean others won't pay for it.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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