Honda E is even here a wonder, given how much electric cars Honda seemed to hate. The lovely EV is only planned for sale in Europe and Japan in the summer of 2020.
Because of its insistence on hybrid cars and hydrogen cars, Honda (along with Toyota) has been offering Tesla and others the EV market. The Honda E was, however, persuaded by a maverick team of Honda engineers. They also kept the design very similar to the Urban E model, which builds up to the crazy futuristic interior.
And it paid off, it paid off. The sleek retro-cut EV je ne sais quoi caught the attention of car buyers and EV enthusiasts of all colors. All that remains is to see whether it’s as fun to drive.
Honda E: One of the First Cars of its New “E-Vision”
The E is a major vehicle for Honda because it’s one of the first cars of its new “e-vision,” together with electric jazz from the next decade. A couple of years ago, Honda had little talk of electric cars. But by 2030 now it intends to electrify two-thirds of the world’s vehicles. It would like to have all its main European models by 2022 in electric or hybrid versions.
Honda Decided to Target the Honda E in Metropolitan Markets
Instead of dealing with its major European rivals ‘ long-range electric transmissions, Honda decided to target the E in metropolitan markets rather than directly. (including Toyota, Nissan, and Tesla). In comparison to the Renault Zoe and 40 kWh Leaf, it has a less than 35.5 kWh battery, which is selling in the same price segment. On the other hand, the E is higher-tech than all its competitors, particularly in the area of infotainment.
It’s a number trendy as well. Manufacturing cars are often far away from their avant-garde designs, so I was pleased to see Honda remained true to its original conception.
The E is not as revolutionary as the urban concept which inspired Honda, with a shape inspired by the original Civic, but Honda has largely retained the design that everyone was interested in.
Is it Really Introducing Something Entirely New
The Honda E dynamic performance chief Takahiro Shinya says for a reason that the concept is the same. “We had to deliver a product to customers that is something else at a glance,” he said. “We don’t want you to feel like a different engine only, but you’ve bought something entirely new,’ next generation’.”
Compared to the concept, Honda smoothed down the body design and replaced the square head/tail lights with more convenient round light. The car is also a little higher than the definition of low riding. The pop-out door handles and cameras instead of the rearview mirrors were two items that Honda retained. These factors ease aerodynamics and lead to the E’s unique appearance.
By comparison to many EVs, the charging port stands on top of the hood for comfort and the power of the E. You can use the remote or phone to pop up the cover, and I found it easy to use. The trunk is in the back, but only a few small bags are open-enough to eat or take a short day.
Honda E and E Advance
In the United Kingdom, E and E Advance come in two varieties. The models, however, have a 134-hour electric motor, while the Advance model offers 152 hours of power. They have a rear-wheel drive. All models have a torque of 232 feet and a weight of 3,086 lbs. The E, therefore, has far greater torque than the rival Zoe of Renault (180 feet) while weighing a little less.
The most controversial part of the E is its battery of 35.5 kilowatt-hours, lower than rivals. It is big enough for urban driving and the company says that it makes the car smaller, more sporty and more powerful.
If the buyers can get this car inside Honda will have a big chance of selling it. The interior is audacious and cozy, with furniture fabrics and fake wood accents, making me feel more like I was in a lounge than a car. The E also has an HDMI input jack so that you can plug in to play games in a Chromecast dongle or watch Netflix.
“Our interior designer wanted to build a space with a sofa and a TV that is like a living room,” Shinya said. “We want this car to be used almost as a private room, not only when you are driving but also when you charge it.” The dashboard is fully screened. “We wanted this car to be comfortable. On the other hand, you have two 6 “side mirror displays, and an 8.8” driver information panel. The 2 12-3-inch middle touchscreens, one for the driver and one for the front passenger are also available.
Honda again did everything to separate itself from the competition.
“We didn’t just go with a common navigation system, we tried to make sure it was all visible, as from the future,”
I made a 60-mile journey from Honda E through the mixed region, rural areas, and road travel. The day before, Valencia was hit by heavy storms, so I could check my EV on dry and wet roads.
The infotainment systems are the first thing you can master in a high-tech vehicle. I worried I would have been overwhelmed by the wall of tech when I was all about having screens in a car, especially since I’d have the car for only a few hours.
I don’t need to worry. In making the infotainment system simple Honda deserves a lot of respect. You can control almost everything on the steering wheel and the dash while you can work it with the touch screens. Even in the center of the console, there is an old-school volume knob.
Honda E Navigation App
I found searching, creating and storing multi-leg journeys on the E navigation app very easy. This supports both Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay on the entertainment side, or you can use a variety of apps such as Honda’s Aha radio. (However, several features still haven’t worked on our test drive.)
I used an Android phone and my wife used an iPhone so that we could get both CarPlay and Ios to work. Once you pick your albums, artists or lists, it is easy to directly track the tunes without hitting the screens on the steering wheel. The Honda overall has better ergonomics infotainment than the Tesla-centered Model 3 or any EV I drive.
Another thoughtful touch is the opportunity to switch screens with the rider. We decided to take a detour at one point, for example. I switched my phone to my passenger and he scheduled the GPS, and then handed it back to me digitally, which was very convenient. At the Sony Concept Car at CES 2020, we saw a similar feature.
We’re going to talk about driving now. While the Honda E appears harmless and cute, hell can be. It is fast off the lane, which is perfect for scooting in town. It also speeds up very well at passing speeds on the highway.
For MacPherson struts at each axle, it has an independent suspension and perfects 50:50 weight distribution. It all helped to curve on very low body lean tracks. I would not call this a sports car by any means, but for urban and highway riding, I was able to turn, stop and speed up as fast as I wanted. The Honda was also quicker and better than the Renault Zoe I raced a few years ago.
The very small turning circle is another fun thing about this car. The E will shut off the Fiat 500 with a range of just 14.1 feet and almost any small car, except the Smart FourTwo.
The E gives you a great deal of control over the use of the braking energy recovery system. You can allow single-pedal control by pressing a button in the middle console. It means that when you raise the gas, the car stops instead of allowing it to crawl. I then used side paddles, from a bit (minimum braking) to much (aggressive breakage), to control the level of energy recovery. The tl;dr is that you should be able to maximize battery life while standing, in particular in urban areas.
How about the cameras on the side?
They gave me a better, clearer view than mirrors, and my blind spots were reduced. But, as opposed to a normal mirror, there is a monitor, circuitry and a computer that can operate incorrectly, so you have a blank screen. If your car breaks down or crashes, however, you can still use the electric mirrors in the normal way.
The standard rearview mirror also has a rear-mounted camera, but it is shielded by a mirror–lucky that the camera was trapped with rain during my drive and everything I could see was a blur. I would have been blind to any cars directly behind me without the option of changing to a physical mirror.
Honda E: High-tech car
There is a range of smart driving devices, as you would expect in a high-tech vehicle. The sensing technology of Honda uses radar and high resolution, broad-angle camera. These are operated by Honda. When I went too close to the edge of the road, the steering wheel was given a boost to drive me back.
As with Civic and other recent versions, it also comes with automatic braking, with adaptive cruise control and lane protection, road sign recognition, automatic headlights, and more in order to avoid collisions with foot pedestrians and vehicles. I had not enough time to test all of these functions (and some of them have not worked yet), but the Civic and other existing Honda cars all come.
The Honda E Parking Pilot
This can also be supported by the Honda Parking Pilot. You can tap the one on the main touchscreen when the device locates a few locations. It can then park in parallel, diagonal or parking garage areas automatically, with or without lines. Honda taught me how to press the brake to stop the cycle when something goes awry, and then it quickly resumes.
The Electric WLTP range
Let’s speak now about this car’s most controversial part. The electric WLTP range is only 137 miles a single charge, and the EPA ratio is even poor if it has ever been in the US–which Honda again told me will not be able to do.
We were down to around 20 percent, after our sixty-mile or so journey, on some spirited roads, highways, and in the city. This is obviously not a good EV for traveling around the country.
Honda has arranged fast chargers along the way to show the charging rates. E supports loaders of up to 100 kW and can be juiced in 30 minutes, ranging from zero to 80%. It takes just two minutes longer than that to use a more popular 50 kW fast charger. However, the car had another full charge after an hour of paella lunch break.
In terms of its range and battery capacity, Honda is well behind competition in this price range in Europe. The Renault Zoe now has a 50 kWh battery, which costs considerably less than E (255,670 or about $33,400 including a £ 3,500 rebate). The Leaf costs £ 26,345 to cover 40 kWh in the meantime. Honda relies on the importance of urban buyers. “I don’t think it would be for people who use it every day, for a journey,” Shinya said.
The Honda E starts at £ 26,160 ($34,200) and the E Advance is at £ 28,660 ($37,500), including the government’s discount at £ 3,500.
But the big question is this car is going to come to the US or something like that? The E will never be sold aside by Honda told me unequivocally. But clearly, Honda’s biggest electrification ambitions are insane to neglect his biggest market.
The company will certainly monitor carefully how the European market accepts the E. This allows it to plan its future strategy for EVs and hybrid vehicles, including the US. In the summer of 2020, we will find out when this is on sale.