and fuel cell cars from Honda, but so far no electric vehicles – that is set to change with the
Jazz electric concept
The Jazz (known as Fit in the US) EV Concept electric vehicle, together with the platform for a midsize plug-in hybrid vehicle, have been unveiled by Honda at the LA Auto Show.
Both vehicles are integral to the Honda Electric Mobility Network , the company’s comprehensive approach to reducing CO2 emissions through innovative products, energy-management and energy-production technologies.
The Jazz EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda’s upcoming production Jazz EV all-electric vehicle, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012. The all-new plug-in hybrid platform showcases Honda’s next-generation, two-motor hybrid technology set to debut in 2012.
The Jazz EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of the average urban commuter and utilises the same 5-passenger layout found in the Jazz hatchback. When the Jazz EV production model is introduced, it will be powered by a lithium-ion battery and coaxial electric motor.
The high-density motor, derived from the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, delivers excellent efficiency and power while remaining quiet at high speeds. The Jazz EV will have a top speed of 90 mph.
The Jazz EV will achieve an estimated 100-mile driving range per charge using the US EPA LA41 city cycle (70 miles when applying EPA’s adjustment factor). Driving range can be maximized by use of an innovative 3-mode electric drive system, adapted from the 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid. The system allows the driver to select between Econ, Normal, and Sport to change the driving experience to maximize efficiency or improve acceleration.
While in Econ mode, practical driving range can increase by as much as 17 per cent, compared to driving in Normal mode, and up to 25 per cent compared to driving in Sport mode. Acceleration improves significantly when in Sport mode, generating performance similar to a vehicle equipped with a 2.0-litre petrol engine.
In addition to the 3-mode E-Drive system, the Jazz EV will include several interactive coaching systems to assist the driver in maximizing battery range.
A special meter display advises the driver when to shut off air conditioning and other accessories to conserve battery power.
To help the driver manage the electric vehicle ownership experience, the Jazz EV will have a standard connectivity system that allows the driver to stay connected through a smartphone and personal computer , or the Honda-exclusive interactive remote, while away from the vehicle. The pocket-friendly, interactive remote provides connectivity to the vehicle without the need for an internet connection or mobile phone signal.
Through the connectivity system, drivers will be able to remotely view the vehicle’s state of charge, initiate charging and activate the air conditioning, even while connected to the grid, to reduce the drain on the battery at start-up. The mobile application and website also offers the ability to set charging notifications and alerts to optimise utility rates, and provides 24-hour roadside assistance, along with a public charging station locator. The Jazz EV will come equipped with a standard Honda Satellite Linked Navigation System that includes a public charging-station locator capability.
The Jazz EV is designed to be easy and convenient to charge. Battery recharging can be accomplished in less than 12 hours when using a conventional 120-volt outlet, and less than six hours when using a 240-volt outlet.
Displayed alongside the Jazz EV Concept at the LA show is a prototype Honda charging stand . To begin charging, the driver swipes a card in front of the screen and then connects the charger to the vehicle. The Honda charging stand provides a glimpse at the future of an electric-charging infrastructure that is easy to use and intuitive for consumers.
Honda also unveiled a plug-in hybrid platform , which showcases Honda’s next-generation two-motor hybrid system. Integrated into a mid-size saloon platform, the plug-in hybrid is designed to be compatible with daily driving habits, allowing for short, frequent trips in all-electric mode , while providing long-distance driving capability when needed. The Honda two-motor system continuously moves through three different modes to maximize driving efficiency: all-electric, gasoline-electric and a unique, engine direct-drive mode. The plug-in hybrid also uses regenerative braking to charge the battery.
In all-electric mode, the vehicle uses a 6kWh lithium-ion battery and a powerful 120 kW electric motor. The all-electric mode achieves a range of approximately 10-15 miles in city driving and a top speed of 62 mph. Fully recharging the battery will take 2 to 2.5 hours using a 120-volt outlet and 1 to 1.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet.
The vehicle can also run in a petrol-electric hybrid mode , the platform features a fuel-efficient 2.0-litre, i-VTEC inline 4-cylinder, Atkinson cycle engine, paired with an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT). An onboard generator adds to the battery powering the electric motor.
For more efficient high-speed cruising, the vehicle can engage in a direct-drive mode, in which only the engine drives the front wheels.
Honda will launch an Advanced Technology Demonstration Program this year to provide real-world testing of its new vehicles, as well as research into customer behavior and usability, public charging infrastructure planning and sustainability initiatives. Partners in the program will include Stanford University, City of Torrance, Calif. and Google, Inc.
Together with the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, the Jazz EV and the future plug-in hybrid vehicle are a part of the company’s approach to reducing CO2 emissions .
Honda is unique in its efforts to create both environmentally-responsible products and the renewable energy solutions to power them. Honda is currently producing and marketing thin-film solar panels in Japan, and an installation is planned at Honda Performance Development in Southern California in early 2011.
Honda is also using innovative ways to produce and distribute energy through sustainable methods, such as using solar power to produce hydrogen fuel from water .
Additionally, Honda is developing home energy-management systems that utilise micro-cogeneration technology and solar cell modules to power and heat homes as well as charge electric vehicles. The Honda Electric Mobility Network joins clean vehicle technology, renewable energy production and energy management solutions for the benefit of customers and society.
The Jazz EV and a plug-in hybrid saloon will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012, joining Honda’s diverse line-up of environmentally-responsible vehicles , which include the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, the Civic GX compressed natural gas-powered sedan (U.S. only) and four distinct petrol-electric hybrid models: Civic Hybrid; CR-Z sport hybrid; Insight hybrid and Jazz Hybrid (Japan and Europe only).