Honda has shown off three vehicles at the 2023 Shanghai motor show that preview upcoming members of its e:N electric vehicle (EV) family in China.
The lineup consists of two previously teased prototype models, the e:NP2 and e:NS2, and the e:N SUV Prologue (序) concept model.
The e:NP2 and e:NS2 will be the second set of electric vehicles (EVs) in Honda’s e:N series, closely resembling the HR-V-based e:NS1 and e:NP1 electric crossover SUVs. They appear to be larger, however.
The two prototype models appear largely the same, as is custom for Honda in China: with two joint ventures there –Dongfeng Honda and GAC Honda – it has two lineups that mirror each other with only minor differences between vehicles.
Honda hasn’t released any technical specifications for these models, however they appear essentially production-ready. Manufacturing is set to begin in early 2024.
The e:N SUV Prologue concept model, not to be confused with the North American, GM-based Prologue, previews a production model that will debut the new e:N Architecture W platform.
Honda says it has a “wild” nature with “near-futuristic intelligence” both in driving capabilities and in-cabin features.
This larger SUV has a more angular front end free from a grille or intakes, thin lighting elements, and squared-off wheel arches.
Honda has confirmed that production models based on this concept vehicle will go on sale before the end of 2024.
The Japanese automaker says that all three models will be equipped with its most intelligent AI-powered Honda Connect 4.0 infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to date.
Honda plans on becoming an EV-only brand in China by 2035, five years ahead of its initial target.
Reaching this goal will involve introducing 10 new EVs in China by 2027.
Honda said it “envisions” exporting some of these e:N Series EVs from China, although it has yet to say which models will go global.
Globally, the company says it will only sell pure electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles from 2040 onwards, and to be entirely carbon neutral by 2050.
In 2022, Honda pledged five trillion yen, or around A$53 billion, towards electrification.
Earlier this year, it completed an organisational reshuffle, merging the electrification efforts across its automotive, motorcycle and power product businesses while also splitting its regional operations into separate North America, China and Associated Regions divisions.
Honda has also established electric vehicle tie-ups with Sony and General Motors. The former will spawn a new EV brand called Afeela, while the latter will see Honda use GM’s Ultium architecture for a pair of SUVs for North America.
Locally, Honda Australia plans to make the transition to EVs gradually, confirming it has no plans to introduce any electric vehicles over the next five years.
“Our electrification strategy is all about using hybrid to bridge to electrification in the future, we don’t have any plans at the moment to introduce EVs,” Honda Australia boss Carolyn McMahon told CarExpert earlier this year.