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

Speculations about a Honda CR-V EV arriving in 2024 had floated on the web for more than a year, but the announcement of the Honda Prologue electric SUV 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 the necessary platform or an agreement with GM for an additional EV for the U.S. market that can compete with Volkswagen or Tesla.

New Honda CR-V (Gas & Hybrid variants) to be launched 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. in 2023? We’ll have to wait to find that out.

Expect the Honda Sensing 360 in future CR-V versions

The next-gen CR-V could be among Honda’s first SUVs’ to get Honda Sensing 360, the company’s next-gen advanced safety and driver-assistive system suite. Compared to Honda Sensing, Honda Sensing 360 has an expanded sensing range, and that too, not just in the front and rear, but around the vehicle.

Honda Sensing 360
Honda Sensing 360 will debut in a new model in China in 2022 and become a standard feature in the U.S. by 2030. Image Source: Honda

In addition to Honda Sensing’s monocular camera, Honda Sensing 360 uses five millimeter-wave radar sensors in the front and at all the corners of the vehicle. A more advanced Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Front Cross Traffic Warning, Lane Change Collision Mitigation, Active Lane Change Assist, and Cornering Speed Assist will be the main features of Honda Sensing 360.

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 with a greater value.

In an interview with Automotive News, Toshihiro Mibe, president, CEO, and representative director, Honda, said that the company doesn’t want to focus too much on electrification and wear itself out now. According to Mibe, the company’s electrification is still in the initial stage, and at this point, teaming up with other companies for EVs is the most optimal solution. It will evaluate launching EVs developed in-house once the jointly developed EVs reach a certain volume and it ensures business feasibility.

Further ahead – The 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.