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Honda reveals Euro-only e hatch interior

Dashboard-spanning screens, simple interior layout for all-electric Honda e hatch

29 Jul 2019

HONDA has revealed the interior of its upcoming e all-electric city hatch, which is set to touch down exclusively in Europe towards the end of the year.


The e hatch forms a key part of Honda Europe’s plans to have electrified vehicles make up 100 per cent of its sales by 2025, with the UK, Germany, France and Norway having priority access to the new model.


Honda has given the e’s interior a unique and futuristic layout with a set of five different high-resolution colour screens to create a full-width digital dashboard that comprises an instrument cluster, two infotainment screens and one screen for each digital side mirror.


The instrument cluster is projected onto an 8.8-inch TFT display, while the two digital side mirror cameras are complemented by the rearview camera which can also be projected at the same time as the side cameras.


Taking up the largest amount of space on the digital dash is a pair of 12.3-inch infotainment screens that are the primary displays for the e, which Honda describes as highly intuitive, customisable and and usable beyond just a function of the vehicle.


A smartphone-style configuration is used with swipe controls and swapping of functions across the two screens.


Given that the two screens can operate independently and stretch across the length of the dashboard, the driver and front passenger can view different apps, such as the driver using the sat-nav and the passenger choosing music through the media player.


Honda’s Personal Assistant voice-control system uses machine learning to create contextual understanding and natural conversations with the driver and offer a range of online services.


Like Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX system, the Personal Assistant is activated by saying ‘OK, Honda’, followed by the question or instruction and can provide access to social media, music and other internet services on the touchscreens, and even videos when the car is parked.


A smartphone application has been designed for the e, which helps provide access to charging functions, locations of charging points, remote locking and unlocking, vehicle status, climate control, security and location monitoring.


The high-tech dashboard is offset by the use of eco-friendly materials in the e’s cabin, such as natural wood grain and textured fabrics.


Honda e project leader Kohei Hitomi said the idea for the designers was to continue the simple styling of the exterior.


“Our objective for the Honda e was that the simple exterior style continues inside,” he said. “The overall interior atmosphere combined with exceptional comfort by using familiar materials, such as woodgrain and textured fabric, is reminiscent of a modern living room.


“In this modern, relaxing environment, occupants can effortlessly engage with advanced connected technology, such as the camera mirror system and dual touchscreen display, that is highly sophisticated but incredibly easy to use.”


As for Australia, Honda Australia general manager of product, customer and communications Rob Thorp said the company was looking at a business case to bring the vehicle here, but it would need to make sense for customers.


“Electrification is a key part of Honda’s global plan and locally in Australia. We have targeted 25 per cent of our range being electrified – either hybrid or battery electric vehicles by 2025,” he said.


“The Honda e is a very special car and so much of what Honda is about in terms of design and technology, however at this stage it is confirmed within Honda globally for Europe only.


“We are looking into a business case for it in Australia but factors such as price, range, infrastructure and market conditions would all need to make sense for our customers.”

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