Honda’s new EV range, Honda Zero, is coming in 2026

Forget the hulking SUVs and trucks dominating the EV landscape. Honda is bucking the trend with its bold new Zero series, promising a lighter, more aerodynamic approach to electric vehicles. The series debuts with the sleek Saloon sedan, arriving in North America in 2026.

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But the Saloon isn’t alone. Joining it is the Space-Hub, a boxy van concept showcasing Honda’s “Thin, Light, Wise” philosophy. Imagine a low-floor design prioritizing aerodynamics, evident in both vehicles. This dedication to lightness extends beyond aesthetics, with Honda aiming for a new era of efficient, agile EVs.

“Thin” and “light” are just two pillars of the Zero series, the third being “wise”. This translates to a clean-sheet design approach, including a new H-mark logo reserved exclusively for next-generation EVs. But how exactly does Honda plan to achieve this “weightlessness”? Details remain under wraps, but it’s a clear departure from the industry’s current trajectory.

Honda acknowledges the market shift towards larger EVs, even partnering with Sony on the Afeela, another electric car expected in 2026. However, the Zero series represents a distinct vision: smaller, sleeker, and more driver-oriented.

Take the Saloon: its fastback shape and unique rectangular lights evoke a futuristic vibe. Borrowing from Formula 1 expertise, it promises sporty performance, hugging the ground for a dynamic driving experience. Inside, minimalism reigns with Tron-like lighting and a single central display. Even the wheels get the futuristic treatment with pixelated covers adding a touch of mystery.

The Space-Hub, reminiscent of a minivan, boasts minimal overhangs and a Rivian-inspired rear light. A panoramic moonroof stretches across the side, creating a greenhouse-like ambiance. Opposing bench seats hint at an autonomous shuttle service potential, further amplifying the futuristic theme. Cameras replace a rear window, suggesting reliance on advanced driver-assistance features.

Speaking of assistance, Honda says the Zero series will offer both partial and full autonomy depending on the model. A marketing video showcasing a retractable steering wheel hints at seamless transitions between human and robot control. These advanced features will build upon Honda’s Sensing platform, offering Level 2 capabilities, with hands-free driving expected in the mid-2020s.

Performance isn’t sacrificed for efficiency. Honda leverages its Formula 1 experience for sporty handling and utilizes their “e-Axles” system – a motor, inverter, and gearbox combo – to optimize battery efficiency.

Like other automakers, Honda embraces AI features, collecting data to personalize the driving experience and suggest routes. This marks a significant shift for Honda, whose current EV offerings are limited. By 2030, they aim for 30 new EVs, 2 million sales, and complete carbon neutrality by 2050.

However, challenges remain. The recently cancelled affordable EV partnership with General Motors and the safety concerns surrounding Cruise, GM’s autonomous unit, highlight the uncertainties in the autonomous driving landscape.

Despite these obstacles, the Prologue SUV, scheduled for release this year, marks Honda’s renewed commitment to North American EVs. But unlike the Prologue, designed to blend seamlessly with existing models, the Zero series is designed to turn heads and challenge the current EV perception. Honda is betting on lightweight, sporty EVs as the future, and the Zero series serves as their bold testament to this vision.