Honda Exec Compares Electric Cars To Smartphones

Thu 12th Sep 2019

As Japanese car manufacturer Honda prepares to launch the all-electric ‘e’, the man who managed the project has been on the charm offensive at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Honda ‘e’ has been criticised by some for its relative lack of range, while many new electric vehicles on the market have ranges in excess of 200 miles, the new Honda EV will be limited to just 136 miles between charges. But Kohei Hitomi says it is about striking a balance. He said: “Our base research results showed that electric vehicles made the most sense in an urban environment, where we want to reduce the levels of local pollution. So our grand concept was that we wanted to build a city commuter as an EV, meaning the size of the car was a very essential aspect. That in some ways determines the size of the battery.

“Honda follows the man maximum, machine minimum principle, so we want to minimise the space used by the mechanicals in order to maximise the space and the freedom for the customer. So the size of the battery, the weight of the car, it is all balanced out in order to not waste energy.”

Hitomi suggests that with the ‘e’ being built for urban living, its users will understand that it doesn’t need to waste precious resources and energies trying to develop a battery size that will rarely be needed, much the same as a mobile phone has different uses to a larger tablet.

“No one buys an iPad instead of an iPhone just because they don’t want to charge every day, they buy the phone because it fits the way they use it and change their charging habit to fit,” he said.

There is another smartphone analogy here.” He added. “I remember my old Nokia, the charge would last a week or more, but now, I rarely get through a whole day without needing to charge. But the added value my smartphone gives me is a totally new dimension.”