Honda debuts first electric SUV as other brands expand EV offerings

Dave Kunz Image
Saturday, September 30, 2023
Honda debuts first electric SUV, other brands expanding EV offerings
Plugging into a new electric car is tempting with rising gas prices across Southern California. And there are more electric vehicles on the market than ever before.

Honda is joining seemingly every other mainstream car maker in the electric vehicle arena with the 2024 Prologue.

Not surprisingly, they're starting their EV lineup with a crossover SUV. Stylish looks, and battery range nearing 300 miles. Prices should start in the $50,000 range.

"SUVs are all the craze and so to have a competitive mid-sized SUV in that segment is going to be critical to our transition to electrification," said Jonathon Rivers, American Honda Motor Company product planner.

Honda certainly got a late start in coming out with a clean-sheet electric-only vehicle. But they got some catch-up help from a partnership that would have been unheard of in years past: with General Motors.

"The co-development with GM was really a mutually beneficial partnership. It allowed both of us to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and for Honda to get to the market as soon as possible with a very competitive platform and product," added Rivers.

The Prologue will arrive at dealers early next year with lots of things that'll be familiar to current and past Honda owners. Part of its style is this new font for the name badge, and a new symbol that will be on all their electrified models moving forward.

Honda is certainly no stranger to alternative fuel vehicles. Over the years they've had pure electric cars, of course they've had hybrids, and they've even had hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Well, the Prologue gets them into a new EV era.

And the EV era continues to evolve across the industry. Luxury electric startup Lucid should be finding a broader audience with their new lower-priced model, the Air Pure. When they got going last year, they aimed high, with up-level versions of the Air dripping with features, a 500-plus mile battery range, and prices well into the six-figure territory.

The Air Pure gives up a bit of range, but it's still very good. With the basic 19" wheels, it's rated at 410 by the EPA, or 384 with the optional 20" wheels. Keep the options to a minimum, and it starts in the $80,000 range.

Audi got into the electric world fairly early, and they've now updated their flagship with some styling tweaks and a new name. Formerly just called e-tron, it's now the Q8 e-tron. Range has been increased significantly to 285 miles per the EPA's official estimates, along with new faster charging times. The Q8 e-tron starts at about $75,000.

The Audi brand is serious about an electric future, now having five different battery-powered models, with more to come.

As each year of the 2020s arrives, there are more and more choices in vehicles that plug in, rather than fill up.