Solid State Batteries Are Crucial For Type R Electric Cars, Honda CEO Says – The Drive | CarTailz

Our full 2023 Honda Civic Type R review is coming soon as we finally get our long awaited chance for a proper test later this month. Until then, you can enjoy this tiny taste of Honda’s latest hot hatch as Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez recently drove staff writer Chris Rosales around the track before letting him take the wheel. However, as is the case with most high-performance petrol vehicles these days, one can’t help but wonder if this will be the Type R’s last hurray before it finally transitions to battery power. During a recent interview with Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe and Managing Officer Shinji Aoyama in Tokyo, Japan, it became clear that the recipe for recreating the soul of the Type R in electric form is not yet complete.

“The solid-state battery will lighten the weight,” Aoyama said The ride. “How fast can we do that? It’s difficult to answer.” Mibe then chimed in, explaining the critical role this battery technology will play. “Solid state batteries, for example, are characterized by the fact that they do not overheat as quickly, which means that the cooling systems for them [performance] Electric vehicles can be simplified in size and weight,” Mibe said

“Compared to current EV batteries, this would help reduce weight and would also be effective for Type R and motorcycle applications. In the future, solid-state batteries will be the center for electric cars and motorcycles with a soul,” added the CHAIRMAN.

Without claiming that an electric type R habit happen without solid-state batteries, Mibe and Ayoyama sound confident that this battery technology would allow these cars to stay as true to their original character as possible. If battery size and weight can be greatly reduced, then price remains as a hurdle to overcome before the Type-R sauce is mastered. And that is also currently in the works.

Honda will launch a 43 billion yen (about US$300 million) pilot production line in spring 2024, which will focus solely on the development and mass production of solid-state batteries. Taking place in Japan at the automaker’s Sakura research facility, the project will be the first major exercise to scale up production of what has hitherto been an extremely complex component. These will also reportedly be proprietary batteries and will not initially be shared with other automakers. Prices for these batteries are expected to fall as production ramps up.

Honda

A Type R is primarily known for its soul per se. This raggedy, spirited, angry economy car that legions of fans could have come to love. Can an electric car have a soul? I asked this question to Aoyama, who is responsible for the company’s electrification strategy. He quickly replied, “Yes, of course.” His boss, meanwhile, offered a slightly longer explanation that sidestepped a yes-or-no answer, but shared that “if it’s not fun to drive, it won’t be a Honda or Acura product.”

“At the moment we are developing many different technologies and are examining in which direction the development of electric cars with a soul would help us,” said Mibe The ride. “Obviously, it will take time for that direction to be clear, and then it will take us some time to develop these technologies.” For example, if we want to develop a sports car or a sporty car, we might combine elements from different technologies, like from a family car or another application [Civic Type R is still a four-door hatchback, after all), and this will give us [well-rounded] exciting electric vehicles with soul. It won’t be a Honda or Acura product if it’s not fun to drive.”

“At this stage of the EV era, it is currently not easy to distinguish between a battery and an e-axle product [from another]. A high-voltage, high-capacity battery combined with an innovative e-axle can provide Honda with exciting products – amazing products in the future,” Aoyama said.

“Honda’s selling points were engines and manual transmissions, but from now on we want to be able to develop technology that gives it Honda fun to drive in the age of electrification,” said Mibe. “In fact, we already have a test vehicle in this segment that we think is fun to drive and can compare to a six-speed manual vehicle.”

Executives haven’t revealed just how fun this electric prototype was to drive, but we do know that an electric Acura ZDX Type S is already in the works.

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