The Honda e All-Electric Car

Honda e electric car

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. 

  • 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
  • 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 
Honda e all electric car
The Honda e All Electric Prototype (credit: Honda)

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

Reviews 


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:. 


Pros 


  • ‘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 

Cons


  • 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 e pure electric car
The Honda e Pure Electric Car (credit: Honda)

e-zoomed View 


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.  


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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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