welcome to Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019
Hello, and a big summer welcome from all of us in the team here at Honda.
Forget about politics, don’t worry if your football team isn’t spending enough in the transfer market. The weather finally looks to be coming good and the Goodwood Festival of Speed is back for 2019, with four full days dedicated to the unadulterated celebration of all things motorsport to look forward to and enjoy.
The festival is the greatest celebration of car culture and motorsport in the entire world, and the sense of occasion is only further enhanced by being held in the stunning surroundings of parkland around Goodwood House. Honda is naturally going to be celebrating its proud racing heritage over the weekend, but we're also going to be giving visitors a glimpse into the future of electric motoring with the Honda e Prototype making its UK dynamic debut up the famous hill climb at the event.
As the e Prototype gets ready to ascend the hill, the anticipation is naturally of something very different from the gas-guzzling beasts so many of us come to Goodwood to see and enjoy. There's no riotous revving of a big V-8 or whining of a race car supercharger. Instead, the all-electric Honda approaches the hill with almost complete silence, apart from the sound of the wheels rolling along the surface of the road. If you're close enough and listen carefully, you might just catch the sound of the efficient, environmentally friendly electric motor doing what it does best, which is propelling the car very nicely up the hill without putting any harmful emissions into the atmosphere. This is the future, and Honda is showing the pathway to making that future a reality.
Over the last few years, and even here at Goodwood, a lot of the focus on the future has been on exciting new electric-only hypercars with staggering performance and price tickets to go with them. We get that at Honda, and we're showcasing our own electrified supercar here in the shape of the new 2019 NSX hybrid. However, the e Prototype arriving at the top of the hill represented a genuine solution for moving us away from fossil-fuel-powered motoring after its near-silent and emissions-free UK debut.
This was a big moment for Honda. We've been producing world-class hybrids for some time now, but they're just a stepping-stone towards full electrification. What's so special about the e Prototype completing the hill climb here at Goodwood is it showed how serious we are about our commitment to achieving our objective of having 100% of our automotive sales featuring electrified powertrains by as soon as 2025.
To be fair, the Goodwood hill climb isn’t exactly the natural environment the e Prototype was designed for, but the rear-wheel drive format and wide stance of the car are attributes the audience at Goodwood will wholeheartedly approve of. The e Prototype has shown it's not just an exercise in sustainability, but a genuine and fun-to-drive alternative to petrol and diesel-powered volume cars when the production models go into production later this year.
The e Prototype is the first compact car Honda has designed, engineered and built on a dedicated all-electric platform. A lot of current and planned electric vehicles (EVs) are being built on platforms originally designed for combustion engines, which have then been adapted to accept an all-electric powertrain. The problem with that is there are always going to be elements of compromise, and that's not what we wanted to accept here at Honda.
With its unique design, advanced functionality and engaging driving dynamics, the Honda e Prototype is a perfect solution for getting around the urban environment in a way that causes minimum damage to the environment. The Honda isn’t just an exercise in virtue signalling for those who want to have their "green" credentials on show for the world to see though. The e Prototype is designed to be practical, efficient, versatile, flexible, but also to be enjoyable and fun to drive.
Getting up the hill at Goodwood is one thing, but we know the first thing most people will wonder about Honda's all-electric car is what its range is and how long it will take to charge. These are the practical factors everyone wants to know about with EVs, and it's why the e Prototype is aimed firmly at the urban environment as the perfect commuter vehicle.
The Honda e boasts a range of more than 200km on a single full charge of its battery, which is more than enough range for the vast majority of daily commutes in the UK and elsewhere in the world. And even if your daily journey is exceptionally long, the e Prototype also has "fast-charge" functionality, which allows the battery to be recharged to 80% of its capacity in as little as 30 minutes. That means you can stop off for a comfort break and a coffee, and by the time you've finished your battery will be almost fully charged by the time you’re ready to go on your way.
Things get even better once you’re inside the Honda too. Modern, connected lifestyles are taken care of by the intuitive and customisable dual screen horizontal display that features a range of intelligent applications and services. The e Prototype is more than just a means of transportation, it's also a platform for connecting occupants to the modern world.
When you came upon the Honda "Club EV" stand that took its inspiration from the new Honda e, you may have been fooled by its overt simplicity and not entirely expected what you’d find inside. Walking through the ground floor took you on a journey through Honda's electrification program, but were you really expecting the first floor dedicated to the new e Prototype to be as electrifying as it turned out to be? The chance to get up close and personal with the exciting new model probably presented some visitors with a few surprises. The Honda e is far more than just a new electric compact car, and after today a lot more people will understand how revolutionary it's going to be. And remember, this was just the first day with Honda here at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed.