Honda is set to reveal an updated version of its cute-looking Urban EV prototype at this year's Geneva Auto Show. However, the Urban EV concept won’t be the only EV concept to be making a debut at Honda’s booth in Geneva. The Japanese automaker is set to reveal another EV in form of the more adorable Tomo concept, previewing the possible future of EV design.
Despite being badged a Honda, the actual design was done by students of the Istituto Europeo di Design in Torino, Italy. Tomo which means 'friend' in Japanese was a thesis of 13 students taking up their Master’s degree in Transportation Design.
IED students were tasked by Honda Design to come up with Honda's "next fun driving car" along with incorporating what ‘the ideal means of transport for young people’ should be in the next six years.
Honda selected the design of Ricardo Alejandro Campos Ortega (Mexico) for the main concept idea exterior, and the work of Rudraksh Banerjie (India) as main concept idea interior, which were both then further developed together with the other students of the Master in Transportation Design for the 2017/18 scholastic year: Tanmay Madhukar Chavan (India), Michele Corneliani (Italy), Shobhanjit Das (India), Alexander Marcel Fröse (Germany), Xiaole Ge (China), Ramón Emmanuel Hernández Cortés (Mexico), Tianchen Huang (China), Sameer Aminullah Khan (India), Saketh Nalla (India), Jay Shrikant Nibandhe (India), Yu-Jie Wang (Taiwan).
The concept is a compact two-door electric car but with a bed at the rear; making it a small electric pickup. Its design is unlike a traditional vehicle as well, having odd-shaped doors and panels. That said, it does appear to take inspiration from the larger Urban EV prototype especially in its front fascia with the flat nose and circular headlight.
According to the designers, Tomo is capable of meeting the needs of people in an urban environment as well as outside of the city. For the time being, there are no interior photos shown but Honda says it will have an ‘easy and friendly setting’ which includes LED screens, and a heads up display on the windshield.
“At Honda Design we are always working to create a design that reflects the philosophy of our brand, offering users our experience with fun and freedom of mobility. It was an exciting, constructive journey both for us and the students thanks to the fusion of the Honda Design philosophy and the creative energy and commitment of the young IED designers,” said Taku Kono, General Manager Styling Design Division Honda R&D.
Catch the world premiere of the Honda Tomo concept on March 5 during the opening day of the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.