Wait for the Honda CR-V EV continues until e:Architecture is ready

Speculations about a Honda CR-V EV arriving in 2024 have floated on the web for more than a year, but the announcement of the Honda Prologue electric SUV this week pours cold water on the rumors. A Honda CR-V EV is unlikely to see the light of the day before the second half of the decade as Honda doesn’t have a platform or an agreement with GM for an additional EV for the U.S. market.

New Honda CR-V (gas & hybrid variants) in 2022

The CR-V is the fifth best-selling vehicle in the U.S., and its redesign is a major project at Honda. The fifth-gen CR-V debuted in 2016 as an evolutionary upgrade, but big changes are likely on the sixth-gen CR-V in the looks department. Honda engineers are currently testing prototypes of the all-new CR-V ahead of the launch next year.

With the release of the eleventh-gen Civic, Honda is upgrading its interior design philosophy to “Simplicity and Something.” Expect every new Honda, including the new CR-V, with a low-profile dashboard, compact, flat-bottomed steering wheel, slim climate control panel, wide touchscreen infotainment system, and fully digital instrument cluster.

Honda may continue running the fifth-gen CR-V’s hybrid system with an efficiency upgrade. The two-motor hybrid powertrain pairs a 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine with an electric motor and e-CVT transmission. It produces 212 horsepower, and it can return a fuel economy of 40 mpg (city)/35 mpg (highway)/38 mpg (combined).

Honda offers a plug-in hybrid in the fifth-gen CR-V as well, but only in China, using a more advanced version of the powertrain. The CR-V PHEV can travel up to 85 km/53 miles on a full charge. Would the CR-V PHEV become a part of the range in the U.S.? We’ll have to wait to find that out.

Honda’s electric vehicle strategy in North America

Honda aims to make EV and FCEVs account for 40% of sales in North America by 2030. By 2035, it wants to increase that number to 80%. The ultimate goal is a 100% zero-emission line-up in the region by 2040.

Joint development of electric vehicles by GM & Honda

As a first step, Honda entered an agreement with GM in April 2020 to co-develop two EVs based on GM’s third-gen global EV platform and powered by Ultium batteries first used for the Hummer electric pickup and the Cadillac Lyriq. The first model, the Honda Prologue SUV, will hit showrooms in early 2024. The second vehicle, an Acura electric SUV, would emerge later that year. Honda will design the exterior and interior of both vehicles, and its engineers would modify GM’s platform to match the driving characteristics customers typically expect in a Honda.

Honda saw the partnership as a way to quickly put electric vehicles on the road and accelerate its electrification roadmap. The combined manufacturing efficiencies and scale would provide customers greater value.

Honda e:Architecture

Following the models co-developed with GM, the company will switch to indigenously develop BEVs based on a new in-house ‘e:Architecture’ from the second half of the decade. It has said that it plans to offer these born-EV Honda models first in North America and later in other regions. We would likely see a Honda CR-V EV in American showrooms in the seventh generation after 2025.

The gas and gas-electric next-gen Honda CR-V are likely to arrive in showrooms in fall 2022.

Featured image: Render of the next-gen Honda CR-V by BestCar magazine.