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LA Auto Show: Honda Jazz EV Concept

Honda unveils electric version of supermini

Honda Jazz EV Concept

The Honda Jazz EV was unveiled in LA

The Honda Jazz is a Which? Car favourite and is a historically high-scoring car in our reviews and reliability survey. And we’ve just been given a preview of how one Jazz model is likely to look in the future, with the unveiling the new Jazz electric vehicle concept at the LA Auto Show.

Jazz concept for 2012

Honda says the Jazz concept (or Fit concept in the US and Japan) is an indicator of what the production version will look like – it goes on sale in America and Japan in 2012.

The Jazz EV retains the same five-seat layout as the current conventionally-powered Jazz, but is powered by a lithium-ion battery and coaxial electric motor.

The motor is derived from Honda’s flagship EV, the FCX Clarity, and is promised to deliver excellent efficiency and power while remaining fairly muted inside, right up to 90mph – the claimed top speed of the new EV.

Honda Jazz EV Concept

It will have a 100-mile range

100-mile driving range

Honda has estimated a 100-mile range for the Jazz EV between charges. However, this can be maximised using the same three-mode electric drive system as is fitted to the Honda CR-Z hybrid.

This system allows the driver to toggle between different drive modes – Econ, Normal and Sport – to adapt the level of performance and battery life.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Jazz EV will also have an interactive coaching system that will give you advice on how to drive conservatively to extend the range. A display will also notify the driver when power is running low, and will suggest that they turn off the air conditioning or other devices in use that are sapping power.

Honda Jazz EV Concept

…and a top speed of 90mph

Monitor the charge on your phone

One handy feature Honda will add to the Jazz EV is a standard connectivity system, allowing the owner to monitor the charge state of the car using their computer or smartphone.

A mobile application will allow you to initiate a charge, and even enable you to turn on the air conditioning while it’s charging so it’s nice and cool when you get in.

Honda says a standard battery charge will take less than 12 hours using a conventional 12-volt outlet, and less than six hours using a 240-volt outlet.

No price details have been released, but the Jazz EV is likely to cost around the same as a Nissan Leaf (£28k), which currently looks like its biggest competitor.

The Honda Jazz EV is expected to debut in the UK shortly after the release in the US and Japan in 2012.

Read our review of the Nissan Leaf

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