Honda expands its electric vehicle (EV) range as it reveals new Prologue SUV

Honda has offered a first look at the exterior and interior styling of the all-new Honda Prologue electric sports utility vehicle (SUV). This has been designed with emphasis for the US market, where the SUV rules, and is expected to hit the North American market in 2024. 

The Prologue isn’t the first electric vehicle from Honda and follows in the footsteps of the hugely successful Honda e hatchback that’s been successful in European and Japanese markets. This hasn’t been available in US markets and the Prologue EV will be the first major EV from the Japanese carmaker in North America.

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Modern Design with Neo-Rugged Aesthetics
The Prologue EV design features a clean and simple ‘neo-rugged’ exterior and interior styling and ample interior space that’s ready for adventure inside and outside the city limits.

The Honda design team based in Los Angeles is responsible for leading the exterior and interior styling of the all-new Prologue. A young team of designers set out to create a modern and fresh SUV, with clean and simple surfacing. 

Neo-rugged was coined as the design direction, bringing the harmony of nature’s elements to the exterior and interior of Prologue. This design direction is reflected in details like the panoramic roof and large 21-inch wheels, which give the model a capable and planted exterior. The front fascia is influenced by the distinctive exterior of the ground-breaking Honda e EV model.

The Prologue will be available in an exclusive North Shore Pearl exterior colour which was inspired by the natural beauty and colours near Lake Tahoe in California. Moreover, the visual of freshly fallen snow on the mountains was used to inspire the exclusive charcoal and light grey interior colour.

Masaki Sumimoto, Honda design lead for the Colour, Materials and Finish, said: “Our goal was to create a clean harmony based on a rugged SUV image by coordinating the colours and materials to express neo-rugged design styling that’s familiar to our customers and uniquely Honda.”

To further build the Honda EV brand identity, the “H-mark” badge on the rear of the vehicle is replaced with the full Honda brand name in a stylised typeface that captures the modern and clean design of the Prologue. In addition, to align with Honda’s global EV models, Prologue will adopt the brand’s e: series name badging.

Prologue Well-positioned in Honda Light Truck Lineup
The Prologue’s generous dimensions and roomy interior position the SUV alongside the Passport in Honda’s light truck lineup. It will have a wheelbase of 121.8-inches and is about 8-inches longer and 5-inches wider than the all-new 2023 Honda CR-V.

The Prologue will have a generous interior, which will provide ample space for passengers and cargo. Showcasing a tech-rich cabin, the Prologue will have a standard fully digital 11-inch driver display panel and an 11.3-inch audio/connectivity display.

Electrifying the Future Buyer
This “Year of the Honda SUV” includes HR-V, CR-V and Pilot, models that play key roles in preparing for volume Honda EV sales that will begin with the Prologue in 2024. The Prologue, which will be available with all-wheel-drive, will target active customers who want the versatility of an SUV with the zero emissions benefit of a BEV.

Gary Robinson, vice president of automobile planning and strategy at American Honda, said: “We are not going to wait until 2024 to attract EV buyers because we see a natural progression for a CR-V customer to Prologue with its slightly larger size, larger interior and capable handling.

“We will support that transition now by putting smart strategies in place with the CR-V hybrid, that will enable our customers to transition to an EV.”

Honda’s research shows that hybrid-electric customers are among the first to move into full-electric products. Honda plans to increase the model mix of the 2023 CR-V to 50 per cent hybrid sales and will offer customers of the CR-V hybrid a shorter-term, two-year lease in zero emission vehicle (ZEV) states when that model comes to market in autumn 2022. 

This will enable a customer in targeted markets to easily transition into a Prologue when the new EV launches in 2024. In this way, the company’s increasing hybrid sales volume will help grow a future EV customer base. 

Honda Electrification Rollout
As the company heads towards its global goal to achieve carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities by 2050, Honda will introduce 30 new EVs globally by 2030, with a global sales volume of two million units.

In North America, Honda has laid out an aggressive timeline of EV introductions based on three initial phases leading to 2030 and ultimately to 100% zero-emission automobile sales by 2040:

2024: Begin sales of the Honda Prologue, co-developed with GM

2026: Begin sales of Honda models based on Honda e:Architecture to be produced by Honda in North America. 

2027: Begin sales of a new series of affordable EVs co-developed with GM, also produced by Honda in North America.

Honda also recently announced an agreement to establish a joint venture to produce lithium-ion batteries in the US to power Honda and Acura EV models for the North American market.

While Honda might be arriving at the EV table later than many big carmakers, it has big plans in this space. Along with the news of 30 new EVs by 2030, the company announced earlier this year that was entering a joint venture with Sony

This is to establish a new company to engage in the sale of high-value-added electric vehicles and provide services for mobility. These new electric vehicles will be produced under the Sony Honda Mobility Inc. name. 

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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