Overview: Insanely Cute, But Will Price Deter Potential Buyers?
The all-electric Honda e-prototype car from the Japanese automotive manufacturer, is based on the Honda Urban EV concept. The Urban EV concept made its debut at the 2017 Internal Motor Show, in Germany. It is Honda’s first all-electric car. Honda is ramping up its commitment to electrification with all new Honda’s in Europe to be electrified by 2025.
- An adorable, cute, clean and simple design. The premium compact battery electric vehicle (BEV), minimalist design has been inspired by the first-generation Honda Civic
- Positioned primarily for driving in urban environments, with a range that is appropriate for shorter commutes. Honda is targeting urban commuter that drive up to 30 miles a day
- Built on a dedicated platform , with rear-wheel drive. A smaller EV battery pack (35.5 kWh) to keep weight down. Interior with recycled fabrics
- The production Honda e is expected to be very similar to the prototype Honda e. Full production version will be unveiled in late 2019 and deliveries will commence 2020. The pure electric car is being built in Japan and will only be available as a five-door
- The Honda e can be reserved online with a refundable deposit of £800 (five colours). As of July 2019, the company had received up to 9,000 reservations (31,000 to include Europe)
- Price yet to be confirmed by Honda, but expected to be over £30,000 and up to £35,000 (not including the government £3,500 plug-in car grant)
- Won the WhatCar? 2019 Reader Award
Battery And Range
- Battery capacity: 35.5 kWh
- Battery type: lithium-ion
- Range (WLTP): 125 miles or higher
- Capable of rapid charging (can be charged up to 80% in 30 minutes)
Power & Performance
- 0-62 mph: 8 sec (yet to be confirmed by manufacturer)
- Top speed: not disclosed by manufacturer
- Brake horsepower: 148 bhp (yet to be confirmed by manufacturer)
- Torque: 300 Nm
Comprehensive reviews yet to be published, as reviewers have not been able to conduct a full driving test. However, a shorter test has been conducted on the Honda e-prototype:.
- ‘Retro’ design and styling well positioned to ‘win hearts’
- Appealing characteristics for city driving: easy to drive and park (impressive turning radius)
- Packed with technology: side view mirrors replaced with cameras (similar to the Audi e-tron all-electric SUV) and extensive 12.3-inch dual touchscreens
- Though more affordable than a Tesla Model 3, not as competitive as the all-electric Mini (£24,400)
- Supply of the production Honda e will be limited in 2020
Honda is correct in their assertion, that not every EV has to have a long range. The research by Honda suggests that urban drivers travel up to 30 miles a day. This is not the first time a major automotive company has made this claim. In fact, the average trip in the UK is a mere 12 miles. We at e-zoomed, have all along been vocal about the myth of ‘range anxiety’. EV’s with sub 150 miles range are very suitable for city or urban driving.
However, despite the strong interest and the very positive initial reviews for the Honda e-prototype, our concern remains the price. The Mini Electric priced at £24,400, in our view has hit the ‘sweet spot’. Time will tell if consumers are willing to pay an additional £5k to £10k for a premium Honda e. We have yet to be convinced.