Update: ‘Honda studying feasibility of exclusive charging network’ section added
The 2024 Honda Prologue EV marks the beginning of a new era at Honda, especially in the U.S. and Canada, where it is the brand’s first electric SUV. The new Honda electric car promises excitement, but it won’t be easy to get their hands on one initially. In this story, we cover everything that is known about the SUV so far and discuss its features in detail.
New Honda badge
The rear of the Prologue is adorned with a cyberpunk-inspired ‘Honda’ wordmark in a monospaced font. There will also be a blue “e:” badge on all of the automaker’s EVs, indicating that they’re fully-electric.
Honda’s American and Japanese design studios created the Prologue in a collaborative effort. The Prologue is the brand’s first model designed mainly through VR technology. The development of the new Honda electric car also happened in Japan.
The Honda Prologue features a crossover-SUV design that looks almost like a regular gas-powered model, without unusual proportions observed in bespoke electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model Y and the VW ID.4. However, it is more aerodynamic with smooth surfaces, a visibly raked windshield, low and sloping roofline, slim mirrors, and a closed upper grille.
Apparently, the first electric SUV from Honda has quite a bit in common with the Chevrolet Blazer EV. Its doors, greenhouse, and dimensions look similar, but the design is simpler and less athletic. Unlike the Chevy, it doesn’t feature split headlights. Honda designers have used flatter bonnet and wheel arches and a shorter quarter glass panel to ensure that the Prologue gets enough unique attributes. While the electric SUV’s size may be similar to the Blazer EV, Honda has modified the profile to make it seem more compact.
Honda is aiming for a slightly technical look to reflect the futuristic nature of the powertrain, as visible in the narrow headlights and the cubical front fog lights, a departure from the CR-V and Pilot. An upright face, a strong shoulder line, and chunky 21-inch alloy wheels exude power and strength, projecting the EV’s masculinity. The charging port is on the front-left fender, similar to the Chevy Blazer EV. Mainstream automakers are using flush door handles for aerodynamic and styling benefits, but Honda will employ the convenient traditional handles on the Prologue.
The low and visibly hunched rear-end of the Prologue gives it a planted stance. The design of the combination lamps and tailgate highlights the boxy shape of the SUV, while the full brand name in place of the “H-mark” brings some much-appreciated sophistication in contrast. The Prologue will be available in an exclusive North Shore Pearl exterior color.
The Prologue measures 192.0 inches in length, 78.3 inches in width, and 64.7 inches in height. It has a 121.8-inch wheelbase. Honda has positioned the Prologue above CR-V and alongside Passport. Below is how it compares with these models:
|Dimension\Measurement||2024 Honda Prologue||2023 Honda CR-V||2022 Honda Passport|
|Height (in.)||64.7||66.2 (2WD)/66.5 (AWD)||71.6 (2WD)/72.2 (AWD)|
|Wheelbase (in.)||121.8||106.3||110.98 (2WD)/110.91 (AWD)|
Honda is using virtual reality technology to develop new models, one of which is the 2024 Prologue. The Los Angeles-based design, and engineering teams were able to keep the design development of the model on track despite the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions, thanks to VR. Honda created a full-size clay model for the exterior design, but for the interior design, the company carried out the process mainly using virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. The virtual methods gave the employees working on the car endless customization possibilities and allowed for quicker feedback.
Blazer EV parts but different layout
As is typical of Honda, the interior of the Prologue is contemporary. The layout and controls are similar to Honda’s gas-powered models without going overboard with digitalization or minimalism. While components like the steering wheel, instrument cluster, center console, door handles, power window switches, turn indicator stalk, and gear selector stalk bear a striking resemblance to the Chevy Blazer EV, Honda has differentiated by keeping things simple and avoiding a flashy design.
For example, the Blazer EV doesn’t have a start button; the driver needs to enter with the key fob and tap the brake to turn on the car. The Honda Prologue gets the conventional button, and interestingly, one that has come from the GM parts bin!
The 2024 Prologue features an 11-inch digital instrument cluster and an 11.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Chevrolet’s Blazer EV is more appealing in this aspect, as it packs a 17.7-inch central display, which, in addition to being larger, is tilted towards the driver. The design of the rectangular AC vents does seem a little cheap for a premium model. The climate control panel offers plenty of physical controls, making it easy to use, with less distraction. The two USB Type-C ports below provide a convenient connecting/charging solution for smartphones.
Honda says that the 2024 Prologue offers a generous passenger space. According to Honda’s U.S. consumer website, it has over 102.6 cubic feet of room in the cabin. The company will offer the electric SUV in an exclusive charcoal and light gray interior color.
The Honda Prologue is an American technology underneath a Japanese shell or top hat. In April 2020, Honda and General Motors agreed to develop two EVs for Honda. The co-developed EVs (Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX) ride on GM’s BEV3 platform that underpins the Cadillac Lyriq and the Chevrolet Blazer EV.
Nearly 325 miles of range
Honda has confirmed that it will offer the Prologue in AWD, although basic configurations are likely to be 2WD. The company could offer a battery pack that operates at around 400 volts with approximately 100 kWh capacity in the top-end configuration, which is likely to be Elite AWD. The Prologue could deliver an EPA-est. range of nearly 325 miles in its most range-focused configuration. Expect the maximum charging power at 11.5 kW (AC)/190 kW (DC), adding around 78 miles of range in 10 minutes.
Not-so-Honda to drive
The Honda Prologue’s driving experience is likely to be more like that of a GM product (most probably the Chevy Blazer EV) than a Honda model. There’s not much that Honda can do about it because it didn’t engineer the vehicle’s platform. The company has told media that differentiating the Prologue in terms of performance will be difficult, Motor1.com reported on November 2, 2022.
According to a report Car And Driver published on November 2, 2022, Honda EVs are unlikely to come with a manual transmission. Shinji Aoyama, Honda’s head of electrification, says that developing a manual transmission for an EV is not easy. CEO Toshihiro Mibe agrees, saying he isn’t sure if the company can replace the manual transmission.
The Prologue should offer a comfortable drive and be high responsiveness with independent front and rear suspensions. Expect one-pedal driving that doesn’t require the driver to push the brake pedal to slow down or stop the vehicle.
|Aspect||Honda Prologue Specification (Expected)|
|Battery Pack Capacity||80-100 kWh|
|Range (EPA)||260-325 miles|
|Max. AC Charging Power||11.5 kW|
|Max DC Charging Power||190 kW|
Standard Heat pump
General Motors has developed a patented heat pump that recovers and repurposes waste heat energy from EV components. It’s a standard feature on GM’s Ultium-based EVs, and the Honda Prologue should also get this energy-saving feature as standard. The heat pump can recover waste heat from the SUV’s propulsion system, the body heat from passengers, and the humidity from both inside and outside. The recovered heat can be reused for heating and other functions, such as improving performance or warming up the batteries before charging, offering a claimed 10 percent additional range.
The 2024 Honda Prologue should cost under USD 50,000 in the base configuration, and be eligible for federal tax credits. It will compete with the Chevrolet Blazer EV, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and maybe even some smaller models like the Toyota bZ4X, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Nissan Ariya, Kia EV6, and Subaru Solterra.
Manufactured by GM
Production of the Honda Prologue and its Acura offshoot will take place in North America. However, it is General Motors which will make these electric SUVs, not Honda. Neither Honda nor GM has revealed the production site, but as per an Automotive News report from January 2021, the Prologue would be made at GM’s Mexican factory (Ramos Arizpe) which began retooling for EV production in March 2022.
While briefing its electrification strategy on April 12, 2022, Honda said that it’s planning a production line exclusive to EVs in North America. So, Honda EVs launched in the U.S. after the inaugural vehicles will roll out of a Honda factory.
Limited availability in 2024
Honda will initially focus on California and the ZEV states, including Texas and Florida. The company expects these regions to bring the bulk of Prologue sales due to higher customer acceptance of EVs and regulatory requirements. It will expand the availability nationwide when the EV infrastructure and customer interest grow.
On October 7, 2022, InsideEVs reported that an American Honda Motor spokesperson reaffirmed that the company plans to offer the Prologue in ZEV states initially and will expand the availability across the U.S. in the future.
Honda dealers in the U.S. will start accepting orders for the Prologue later this year, with customer deliveries starting in early 2024, Honda confirmed in a January 2023 press release.
There are 16 ZEV states in the U.S., as mentioned in the list below:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
In the first year of sales, Honda is targeting to ship 70,000 units of Prologue. It hasn’t clarified whether that number includes the deliveries in Canada. Regardless, it seems like sales would be considerably lower compared to the gasoline SUVs like the CR-V and Pilot in the initial phase. The company has been clocking 300,000+ CR-Vs and 100,000+ Pilots annually in the U.S. for years now, and it should take the Prologue a few years to reach that level.
According to an Automotive News Canada report dated January 3, 2023, Honda will offer the Prologue in Canada in three states at launch: British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. British Columbia and Quebec offer consumer rebates, and mandate sales of EVs, and the former has the nation’s highest EV adoption rate, with 17.5% of passenger vehicle sales coming from electric models.
New dealer experience for Prologue customers
Honda is preparing dealers for its EV launches in the United States. The company is planning a new experience for customers when they buy or service EVs. The new design will provide dealers with a modular and flexible space, which could be useful in the future when customers move towards alternative purchase methods (like online) and also when lower inventory is required.
The new dealer experience will include the availability of charging stations (Honda mentions a “number and type of EV charging stations”) based on expected electric vehicle sales by 2030. Dealers will also need to acquire special tools and equipment to service Honda EVs.
Most of Honda’s Canadian dealers, 175 out of 236, will make the necessary upgrades to prepare for the Prologue launch in Canada, as per the Automotive News Canada report. The estimated cost of the changes is pegged at USD 300,000-400,000.
Honda studying feasibility of exclusive charging network
Speaking from the company’s U.S. hub of operations in Marysville, Ohio, Honda Motor Company’s CEO Toshihiro Mibe confirmed that the brand is conducting feasibility studies concerning a dedicated charging network in the U.S., Reuters reported on March 3, 2023. The CEO feels that the existing charging infrastructure in the country is not robust enough for its EV customers.
Mibe also revealed that a new & independent entity will be established in April 2023, which will manage Honda’s R&D efforts for its new EVs and future battery technologies.
On the Prologue’s luxury market cousin
The Prologue will have a luxury-segment cousin called the Acura ZDX. This is the second EV that Honda is co-developing with General Motors.
To go on sale in 2024, the ZDX could compete with Tesla’s Model Y, which costs USD 65,990 onwards in the U.S. The line-up will include a sportier, performance-oriented Acura ZDX Type S. Emile Korkor, assistant vice president of Acura National Sales, has told CarBuzz that the annual sales target for the ZDX is “roughly 30,000 units.” That’s less than half of what Honda is targeting for the Prologue.
The 2024 Honda Prologue is likely to be the no-nonsense electric SUV offering decent value for money. The SUV is bigger than some of the popular electric SUVs in the United States, such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E and VW ID.4. It offers more passenger and/or cargo space than these competitors. For customers looking for something simpler and more conventional than the Blazer EV or the Model Y, the Prologue could be a good fit!
Honda Prologue FAQs
What is the Honda Prologue release date?
The Prologue will arrive at U.S. dealers in early 2024.
Which models will be Honda Prologue rivals?
The Prologue will rival the Chevrolet Blazer EV and the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
What will be the Honda Prologue price?
The Prologue should cost under USD 50,000 in its base configuration.
Featured image: Honda