Skip to main content

Honda previews future EV lineup with Zero Series concepts

The Honda Saloon concept car at CES 2024.
The Honda Saloon concept EV sports gull-wing doors and more LEDs than you can count. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Honda is finally getting serious about EVs. At CES 2024, it announced plans to launch a line of them called the 0 Series starting in 2026, and it revealed the first two models in the series with a pair of concept cars.

The two concepts are a van-like EV called the Space-Hub, and the Saloon, which is what people in many countries outside the U.S. call sedans. The Saloon concept is no Honda Accord, though; its cheese-wedge shape is almost supercar-like. We’ll see if that dramatic styling carries over to the production version, which Honda says will go on sale in North America in 2026.

Honda chose the name 0 Series for its new EVs because it represents a fresh start. To wit, these are the first production EVs based on a dedicated platform that won’t be shared with internal combustion models. This provides more efficient packaging, but one downside is a floor height dictated by the dimensions of the battery pack, effectively jacking up the passenger compartment. Honda claims its platform will be as thin as possible to create a low floor and thus sleeker, more aerodynamic vehicles. Honda claims it will also apply lessons learned from racing to aerodynamics.

The Honda Space-Hub concept EV at CES 2024.
The Honda Space-Hub concept EV was announced at CES 2024. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

The 0 Series EVs will get advanced driver aids based on the Honda Sensing Elite system that launched in Japan in 2021 (but hasn’t yet been offered in the U.S.), with a next-generation system arriving later in the 2020s. By that time, Honda also anticipates advanced battery tech that will reduce fast-charging times to just 10 to 15 minutes for a 15% to 80% charge. And those batteries will lose less than 10% of their original capacity after 10 years, Honda claims.

Until the 0 Series EVs arrive, Honda will sell two electric models made by General Motors. Scheduled to go on sale later this year, the Honda Prologue and its luxury Acura ZDX sibling are based on GM’s Ultium component set, specifically the battery pack and chassis used by the Chevrolet Blazer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. But it’s unclear whether current production issues with the Ultium EVs will affect the launching timing of the Honda and Acura models.

The 0 Series models show that Honda has had the resources to engineer its own EVs all along. However, the automaker has been more enthusiastic about hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, keeping U.S.-market EV efforts limited to the low-volume EV Plus, Fit EV, and Clarity Electric. That attitude is finally changing.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
CES 2023-bound Ram Revolution concept previews electric pickup
ram revolution electric pickup details unveiling date concept teaser feature image

Ram wants to plant its stake in the growing electric pickup segment its main rivals are already present in. The company will travel to CES 2023 to unveil a concept called Revolution designed to preview a battery-powered truck tentatively scheduled to make its debut in 2024.

While the Revolution's full design remains under wraps, a preview video published on Facebook suggests the pickup won't borrow styling cues from the current crop of Ram trucks. It's described as looking "fierce, slick, and heroic." From what we can tell, the Revolution's front end will be characterized by a pair of two-piece LED headlights, a massive "RAM" logo, and a hood that's lower than we're used to seeing on Ram trucks. Keeping the hood line relatively low is likely a way to make the truck more aerodynamic and in turn, improve its driving range.

Read more
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV preview: The EV lineup grows again
Front three quarter view of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV.

As Mercedes-Benz has steadily expanded its EQ range of electric cars, the lineup has become a bit like the late stages of a Tetris game. It’s mostly complete, but with a few gaps still left. And the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV is the piece that perfectly fits one of them.
Mercedes recently launched two other electric SUVs at opposite ends of the price spectrum. The EQS SUV is positioned as the lineup’s flagship, while the EQB is the entry-level model. The EQE SUV slots between those two in size and, presumably, price. The latter hasn’t been confirmed yet, and likely won’t be until the EQE SUV’s planned March 2023 on-sale date.

As the name says, the EQE SUV is a utility-vehicle version of the EQE sedan, which will likely beat it to showrooms by a few months. Mercedes did the same thing with the EQS, which is available in both SUV and sedan body styles.
With its tall, upright profile, the EQE SUV definitely looks like a proper SUV compared to the low-slung EQE sedan. Park it next to an EQS SUV, though, and you’ll have to get out a measuring tape to spot the differences.
The EQE SUV is 0.6 inch narrower and 1.2 inches lower than the EQS SUV, but the most significant difference is in length. The EQE SUV is 10.3 inches shorter than the EQS SUV, with a 2.1-inch shorter wheelbase. And while the EQS SUV has three-row seating, the EQE SUV has two rows. Based on our experience with the EQS SUV’s third row, that’s not a big loss.
The interior design theme carries over from other Mercedes EQ models, with an expansive sloping dashboard designed to accommodate many screens, and multicolor ambient lighting that should look pretty dramatic at night. However, leatherette upholstery is standard, rather than real leather, which Mercedes is now spinning as a vegan option.

Read more
We drove Mercedes’ hand-built EQXX concept, and it’s unlike any other EV
Front view of the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX.

It may have the familiar three-pointed star on its hood, but the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX is like no other car Mercedes — or any other automaker — has ever built.

The Vision EQXX is an electric concept car that debuted at CES 2022 earlier this year. But where many concept cars can’t even move under their own power, the Vision EQXX spent the months after its Las Vegas reveal setting range records with a pair of epic trans-European road trips. Because while most concepts focus solely on design, the Vision EQXX pushes the envelope in all areas, from the shape of its body to the code in its software.

Read more