The Honda e arrives on the market at the same time as new small, affordable electric vehicles, finally widening the choice beyond the more expensive premium range such as Tesla, the Jaguar I-Pace and theAudi e-tron. Honda takes on the new Peugeot e-208 (and its sister car the Corsa-e), the electric Mini and the Renault Zoé.
Is it a winning strategy? Only time will tell. Is it a success?
Key features of the electric Honda
- 222 km WLTPrange
- A 35.5 kWh battery with components supplied by Panasonic
- It accelerates from 0-100 km/h in about 9 seconds
- rear-wheel drive
- electric motor (basic version): 100 kW power and 315 Nm torque
- electric motor (Advance version): 113 kW of power and 315 Nm of torque
- Fast charge (CCS Combo 2) to 80% in 30 minutes
For the moment, no one has had a chance to test the Honda e, which remains highly mysterious. We do know, however, that it will be available in several flashy colors:
- Electric yellow
- White platinum metallic
- Modern metallic steel
- Crystal Blue Metallic
- Black Crystal Pearl
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A little history
In the 1930s, Soichiro Honda founded Tokai Seiki Heavy Industry, a piston ring manufacturer, which was absorbed by Toyota during the Second World War. After the war, Honda joined forces with businessman Takeo Fujisawa, with whom he founded Honda Motor Company, Limited on September 24, 19482. After the war, Fujisawa salvaged generator engines and grafted them onto a bicycle. This small, economical vehicle, called the Type A, was a success and launched the brand. Motorcycles followed, contributing to the brand's reputation.
From 1963 onwards, the brand moved into car production, producing motorcycle-powered cars such as the S360 and S600.
In 1987, Honda produced the first car with four-wheel steering (Prelude SI 4WS).
Honda Prelude SI 4WS
Two years later, Honda innovated with the VTEC system, which varies the duration and timing of valve lift.
In 1999, the S-2000 was the production car with the best specific power for a naturally-aspirated production engine: 120 hp per liter (125 in Japan). In fact, its atmospheric 4-cylinder 2.0 VTEC petrol engine develops 240 bhp at 8,200 rpm. This engine is also one of the world's highest-rpm production (conventional) engines, at 9,000 rpm (electronically controlled), with prepared versions capable of up to 10,500 rpm.
In 2019, the manufacturer is launching its first 100% electric model, the Honda e, available for pre-order and which will go on sale from summer 2020 at a price of €29,060, bonus deducted, for the 100 kw version and €32,060, bonus deducted, for the 113 kW version.
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Honda e design
One of the main features of the Honda e is its highly distinctive design. Honda has taken the risk of not fitting into the mold and offering a unique model.
Taking cues from classic European and Japanese sedans, Honda designers create a modern look. By blending a retro-futuristic exterior, an ultra-modern cabin and an efficient electric powertrain.
Honda seems to have taken much of its inspiration from the small Japanese and European hatchbacks of the 70s and early 80s. The first-generation Volkswagen Polo, with its more compact proportions, is also a good comparison.
Back to the 1970s
The Honda Urban EV Concept was one of the journalists' favorite vehicles at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. By blending a retro-futuristic exterior, an ultra-modern interior and an efficient electric powertrain, Honda succeeded in seducing.
According to some, the Urban EV concept resembles an early Volkswagen Golf. They have a point. The Honda team's main inspiration seems to be the small Japanese and European hatchbacks of the 1970s and early 1980s. The similarities are most obvious from a three-quarter perspective, where the combination of a slim A-pillar and a thick C-pillar is evident. Both models feature short overhangs and a longer hood, given their overall proportions.
Inside, Honda eschews the retro aesthetic of the exterior for a thoroughly modern look, with a digital screen that spans almost the entire dashboard. There are, however, some interesting ideas. For example, the BMW i3 sets a modern precedent for the use of a wood-covered dashboard.
The world and the times are totally different. The 5 screens running the length of the wooden dashboard and the spacious interior, illuminated by the Honda e's glass roof, project us into the near future. Despite the compact nature of this city car, there's plenty of room to sit back and relax.
However, it should not be forgotten that this Honda cannot accommodate more than 4 people. Its trunk reminds us of this, holding just 171 liters - enough room for around 2 suitcases. The wood on the central tunnel and dashboard is a welcome change from the usual plastic, which is still present in the cabin, but there's nothing we can do about it. The Honda e is more a living room on wheels than a car.
A singular design
According to the experts, this is probably the highest quality Honda has ever built. The Japanese car is the forerunner of a new design style inside and out, combining retro and modern lines. Without doubt, this is a top-of-the-range electric car, closer to the BMW i3 than to the Volkswagen e-up. There's no doubt that the Honda e is one of the most stylish little four-seaters on the market today.
The Honda e is also packed with technological novelties: the side camera mirror system (standard) and five screens inside (two side screens for side cameras, an 8.8-inch TFT screen for displaying instruments in front of the driver and two 12.3-inch LCD touch screens for infotainment), plus the central camera mirror system, which can display images from a rear-facing central camera.
The 2 x 12-inch screens offer multiple functionalities, thanks first and foremost to their connectivity. It's even possible to play video games thanks to an HDMI output and a 230-volt socket present in this car. The last three screens act as rear-view mirrors. However, the interior mirror can be turned back into a mirror at the touch of a button.
GPS is also available, as are all the other functions that are familiar from today's cars. In terms of safety, the Honda e also offers all the modern aids such as emergency braking assistance, lane keeping and fully automated parking assistance.
Honda electric performance
The Honda e's powertrain can deliver up to 110 kW (136 hp) of power from its 35.5 kWh battery. The Advance version can deliver up to 113 kW. The perfectly balanced weight distribution (50/50) and low center of gravity deliver a dynamic driving experience.
The Honda e is a car designed for the city, but you can accelerate instantly by switching to Sport mode if you want to move up a gear.
Thanks to its 4.3m turning radius, you can drive anywhere in town. The Honda Parking Pilot function will help you park, especially in tight spaces.
Driving the electric Honda
Despite its many driving aids, the Honda e is still a car. This city car is a small rear-wheel drive, with a short turning radius. Its small size is perfect for getting around town. It's important to point out that its advertised range of 222 km in the WLTP cycle doesn't make it easy to take off on a trip. What's more, in real-life conditions across town and on the freeways, this is clearly seen to be on the decline.
Thrill-seekers won't be pleased to know that the Honda e won't be able to exceed 150 km/h (top speed). On the "Advance" version, 0 to 100 km/h takes 8.3 seconds, while on the base version, 0 to 100 km/h takes 9 seconds.
Range of the Honda e
With its 32 kWh battery, the Honda e has a range of 225 km according to the WLTP cycle. It's a car designed for the city, for city-dwellers.
This little city car will be your best friend on your daily commute, both in terms of comfort and practicality. However, going on vacation with it will be harder to negotiate because of the number of stops you'll have to make at recharging points.
Charging the Honda e
The Honda e features a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. Recharging is possible with a T2-type connector and an on-board charger with a maximum output of 11 kW. As for rapid recharging, 30 minutes are enough to recover 80% of the energy on your Honda e.
Terminal 3.7 kW
|Terminal 7.4 kW Single-phase, 32A
|Terminal 11 kW Three-phase, 16A
|Terminal 22 kW Three-phase, 32A
e:Progress: Intelligent charging from Honda
e:Progress is a flexibly-priced energy management service for electric car owners.
With the launch of its new electric vehicle, the Honda e, scheduled for spring 2020, Honda has launched a new offer. The e:Progress offer, available initially in the UK and Germany, will arrive in the rest of Europe a little later.
This service includes a charger and an intelligent charging control system to optimize the charging of your electric vehicle. In addition, e:Progress guarantees the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydro power, to recharge your electric vehicle . The clean electricity will be distributed by Vattenfal, in collaboration with Honda.
e :Progress offers flexible and advantageous tariffs at certain times of the day, thanks to cost-efficient usage slots. Indeed, this intelligent charging system will automatically charge your vehicle when the energy on the grid is cheapest and cleanest.
Dimensions and weight of the Honda e
The Honda e is suitable for city use, and its size is also designed for small spaces.
The wheelbase, i.e. the length between the front and rear axles, is 2.5 metres. That's 30 centimetres longer than its rival, the Mini Cooper SE.
The only downside is the boot. It is 564 L, which is respectable, but may not suit certain needs.
Honda electric price
What about you? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.