Seen at the Geneva Motor Show as a prototype, the Honda-e is finally visible in its final version and is ready to be marketed in Frankfurt. The small Japanese electric city car has an original design that will undoubtedly seduce many motorists. Who says electric vehicles are all ugly?
£26K for a 35 kW battery
If manufacturers still have difficulty selling electric cars, it is partly because of their prices. Honda has remained reasonable (if you can call it that) for its city car, but the prices are still not cheap compared to a combustion engine car and a bit higher than other future models. The Honda-e, which will debut in dealerships in the summer of 2020, will start at under £26,160 with the included bonus (including the £3,500 plug-in grant for the 136 hp version), while a more powerful 153 hp version starts at £28,660.
£26K for a 35kW battery, i.e. a range of 220km (according to the WLTP test cycle), so this is Honda's bet, which seems to focus on design and style to seduce
Two charging sockets are available: an AC Type 2 socket (AC power for loads limited to 6.6 kW) and a DC Combo CCS socket (DC power for fast loads). Honda promises fast charging for its battery. The Japanese manufacturer promises that in 30 minutes it is possible to recharge 80 percent of the battery. On the other hand, on a home socket, wait for 10 hours for a full charge.
An original design
At the end of the day, it is the look (both exterior and interior) that allows the small Honda-e to stand out the most from the competition. Its neo-retro look gives Honda's all-electric city car real personality. Its two small round headlights, retractable handles, camera mirrors and front hood charging flap give it a sexy look. Funnily enough, there is an NFC logo on the driver's door, as your smartphone can be used as a key to unlock the vehicle via an app. It is also possible to read information about the vehicle in the app.
The interior is also original with two six-inch screens for mirrors, a screen behind the wheel for key driver information and two 12.3-inch screens for infotainment. An HDMI socket, a 230V (1500W) socket, a 12V socket and two USB sockets are even included, and Honda even offers a digital voice assistant. By using the magic words "Ok Honda" you can perform different operations (checking the weather, turning on the headlights, launch the GPS, etc.). In practice, this was more difficult on the stand at the motor show due to the ambient noise and an unstable Internet connection.
We'd have to test the car to observe how it performs in daily life, of course. But with a short turning radius (it turns tighter than a London taxi), the Honda-e has the perfect profile for city driving at first glance. The competition will be tough for the little Japanese car though. Compared to the new Volkswagen ID.3, the future Peugeot e-208 or the Renault ZOE, the Honda-e will be less autonomous and more expensive to buy.
How does the new Honda-e look to you?