Honda has announced its latest electrification plans in China with the launch of the new e:N sub-brand, building on the e:Technology branding that was unveiled with the adorable Honda e for Japan and Europe.
The company will only sell electrified models (hybrid and EVs) from 2030 onwards in the country, and aims to debut 10 new fully-electric models within the next five years, starting with the e:NP1 and e:NS1 SUVs that are scheduled to go on sale next year.
The fully-electric duos is clearly based on the SUV e:Prototype Concept, the fully-electric counterpart to the Honda HR-V. And if you’re wondering why there are two different models for the same car, it’s because they’re being made separately by the two Honda joint-venture partners in China, Dongfeng Honda and GAC Honda.
The Japanese carmaker is mum on the SUVs’ electro-mechanical details, though we don’t expect them to differ between the two models. More than likely, the two will only feature different exterior designs – a common strategy employed in China. The e:NS1 will be the sportier model, while the e:NP1 sports a more “traditional” SUV look.
Following the two SUVs are three more concepts that are already under development, called the e:N SUV Concept, e:N GT Concept, and e:N Coupe Concept, which Honda is aiming to launch in the next five years. All three concepts will be built on a new modular e:N EV architecture, which can be configured for front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive set-ups.
Again, no technical details were provided, but in the looks department, the three concepts are basically took the ‘futuristic EV’ rulebook to heart, with sharp angular facets, generous use of LED lights, and pretty much a complete lack of curves – Elon Musk would be proud.
The new cars are meant for China only for now, but Honda says that it “envisions exporting these models from China” in the future, so keep your fingers crossed.
In order to support the new EV charge in China, Honda will be enhancing its sales network to prepare for the start of a full EV business, including creating e:N Series-specific areas within existing dealership locations (like Toyota’s GR outlets), as well as new dedicated e:N dealerships in major cities.
Both GAC Honda and Dongfeng Honda will also be constructing new dedicated EV production plants, which they aim to begin production in 2024.