The Honda e is probably the most hyped up, talked about and desirable electric car not made by a guy called Elon. Here are five things you need to know….
The e is Honda’s very first electric car
If the EV world ever wanted a poster car, then Honda’s first electric car is it. Initially presented as the Urban EV Concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the production-ready ‘Honda e’ has lost none of that car’s charm and sits on a purpose-built EV platform.
It’s quite amazing how the designers have been able to turn raw metal and precision surfacing into something so... loveable. There are universally cute things in this world, like puppies and kittens, but Honda’s e fits right into that brief too. Just look at it! And for Electric Vehicles to help deliver mass appeal, we need a car we can fall in love with.
It has a lounge-inspired interior
Once you’ve finished stroking the outside, you’ll be greeted to an interior that Honda has tried to make feel as if you’re sitting in a lounge. That’s if your dream lounge features brown seatbelts, chairs made from recycled fabrics and a multiplex cinema.
There are an astonishing five screens in this cabin, resembling a big digital wall on top of the dashboard, that presents everything from driving information, navigation, music and your rear view, which is now performed by two door-mounted cameras to help reduce aerodynamic drag.
There’s Apple CarPlay, a wifi hotspot to stream Netflix or check your email, a HDMI socket that will let you plug in a games console and…. fish. Yup, Honda has created a virtual aquarium where you can even customize the type of fish you can feed, by tapping on the screen.
All of this tech may sound a bit excessive until you find yourself sitting in the car and waiting. Waiting for the car to charge, waiting to collect the kids from school, or even waiting in a massive traffic jam. Think of it then as a little piece of modern mindfulness.
The range is small
Honda found itself in a dilemma with its first small electric car: it could either provide a big battery and charge more, or it could reduce the size of the battery pack in the hope of making it more affordable. The company went with the latter, so thanks to a 35.5-kWh battery, the official range is quoted at 136-miles. Realistically, that means you’re looking at nearer 100-miles between charging.
Range remains a big concern for EV drivers, so this decision is probably regarded as one of two flies in an otherwise very fine ointment. But in reality, it means the little Honda e can still comfortably cover a series of daily commutes while not having to lug a huge battery around. Plus, rapid charging via its front-mounted CCS charge point can deliver a zero to 80% charge in just 30-minutes.
The boot is even smaller
If the range doesn’t make you nervous, then maybe the boot space will, because at 171-litres, it is bento box small with no dedicated space for storing charging cables. Forget carrying anything more than a few shopping bags, because the space is actually smaller than that of a MINI Electric, and half the size of a Renault Zoe, both of which are cheaper to buy than the Honda e, too.
So while the Honda e may be one of the most exciting and desirable small electric cars on sale, it certainly isn’t the most practical.
Vehicle to Grid is on trial
If you thought Vehicle to Grid technology was strictly for CHAdeMo connectors and the Nissan Leaf, then think again. Honda is currently developing a Type 2 AC bi-directional charging system on the Honda e, and is already running a small trial in London with energy management company Moixa. An AC system like this could really help reduce the cost of V2G, thus helping the technology provide broader appeal.