A new look and branding for Honda EVs

Honda showed off two new EV concepts under the new Honda Zero brand at CES — the Saloon and the Space-Hub. Most of the coverage is focused on the futuristic looks of the concept cars. As someone who grew up going to the Chicago Auto Show and seeing the cars of the future, I’d temper any expectations that the final designs will be this radical.

Image of a Honda Zero Saloon electric vehicle

But as a branding researcher, what caught my attention is that they also rolled out a new Honda “flying H” logo to be used on all new electric cars. From the official Honda press release:

The current Honda “H mark” has a long history, dating back to 1981. In launching the next-generation EVs, Honda designed a new H mark, to express the company’s determination to undergo a historic transformation as well as the ability to constantly pursue new challenges and advancements. This new design expression, which symbolizes two outstretched hands, represents Honda’s commitment to expand the possibilities of mobility and continue to meet the needs of its customers. The new H mark will be applied on future Honda EV models, including the Honda 0 Series.

New Honda logo

The logo simplifies Honda’s current H, removing the outer bounding box and reshaping the mark. It does feel like a more modern mark and seems appropriate on the futuristic vehicles. As logo introductions go, this might be the slowest roll out in the history of visual branding since the first Honda Zero cars won’t be released until 2026. And since the logo is intended for just electric vehicles, that means that Honda is choosing to fragment their brand for a period of time.

Honda 0 logo.

It’s worth noting that the Honda Zero brand had its own mark at introduction. I’d be surprised if this is used in marketing when the models debut in 2026. I’m not sure what’s going on here, since the elements don’t really match anything.

Electric car branding is fascinating to me. VW and BMW add a letter or letters to the model number. Hyundai is using the Ioniq brand name for most, but not all of their EVs. Many vendors are rolling out EVs alongside their internal combustion engine lineup. VW is resurrecting the old Scout brand for a line of electric SUVs.1 But to my knowledge, Honda is the first company to create a version of their corporate logo especially for electric vehicles. As the transition to electric vehicles continues, it will be interesting to see how EV branding continues to shift and evolve.

Bob Wertz is a creative director, type designer, Ph.D. student and researcher living in Columbia, South Carolina.

  1. Scout SUVs will be manufactured just north of my hometown – Columbia, South Carolina. ↩︎