Honda e range and charging specs confirmed

The forthcoming Honda e will feature a 35.5kWh battery and deliver over 125 miles of range, it has been confirmed

The new, all-electric Honda e will return over 125 miles of range from a 35.5kWh battery pack, the Japanese manufacturer has said.

The city car is compatible with Type 2 and CCS chargers, so an 80% top-up will take around 30 minutes, while a 7kW home wallbox will fully replenish the battery in five hours.

Honda says LED lights indicating the car's state of charge will be visible through a glass panel, with graphics also displaying information via screens inside the vehicle.

Meanwhile, the brand has also confirmed that the e will use four-wheel independent suspension, with 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity designed to make the car agile on urban roads.

The Honda e will make its UK debut at next month's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Last month, it was revealed that rear-view cameras would be a standard feature on the Honda e when deliveries begin next year, in place of conventional wing mirrors.

Reducing drag by 3.8% – and therefore boosting the car's efficiency, range and quietness on the road – the cameras feed their footage into a pair of six-inch monitors that bookend the dashboard.

Drivers will be able to choose between 'normal view' and 'wide view' modes, increasing visibility by 10% and 50% respectively compared to normal mirrors, according to Honda.

The company says it has tested the system extensively to ensure it works in all conditions. The shape of the camera unit is designed to stop droplets forming on the lens, with a water-repellent coating helping to prevent a build-up of dirt.

The brightness of the display adjusts automatically, and in reverse gear, guidelines are overlaid on the screens to help drivers navigate tricky parking manoeuvres.

Reservations for the Honda e opened in the middle of May, with UK customers providing a deposit of £800, despite the full price of the vehicle remaining under wraps. Deliveries of the firm's first electric car will begin early next year.

The car will launch with a choice of five colours: Platinum White Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Crystal Blue Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic and Charge Yellow (see gallery, above).

The e – the production version of the Honda e Prototype – was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March. So far, the company says it has received 31,000 expressions of interest in the car, with 9,000 of those coming from UK customers.

The e has been built on Honda’s new platform for electric cars, with a single electric motor driving the rear wheels. It'll be 3,895mm long, 1,750mm wide and 1,495mm tall, making it smaller than rivals like the BMW i3 and Renault ZOE.

As such, it'll only seat four people, however a full-length bench in the rear will afford enough space for two full-sized, adult passengers.

It won’t be a budget vehicle. Speaking to our sister title Auto Express, the e’s project leader Kohei Hitomi said the car going on sale later this year will not be “a low-cost product”. He explained: “Look at the iPhone: they are not cheap products but still everybody wants it.”

Honda e design

The look of the Urban EV concept generated a lot of interest when it made its debut in 2017, and it’s easy to see why. It managed to mix the retro looks of the 1970s Honda Civic outside with a cutting-edge, minimalist interior dominated by a digital screen running the full width of the dashboard.

There were also plenty of details on the car that previewed the direction Honda design will take in the future. For example, the backlit blue logo will appear on all of Honda’s electric cars, while the display between the headlights shows charging status when it’s plugged in.

The most noticeable difference between the Urban EV and the e Prototype was that the former's three-door design has been ditched in favour of a more practical five-door body. Meanwhile, the nose and pillars have been made bulkier to add strength for safety.

Battery

The Honda e will feature a 35.5kWh battery, delivering a range of over 125 miles. That figure falls short of the 193 miles achieved by the latest BMW i3, which will be the e's main rival.

The output of the electric motor hasn’t been confirmed, either, although we do know that the Honda e will be rear-wheel drive. The car will be compatible with fast-charging technology, providing an 80% top-up in just 30 minutes.

Interior

There are several developments from 2017’s concept car: while the long, digital screen remains, it has been split into sections across the length of the dashboard. Two 12.3-inch screens sit in the middle, giving access to the car’s range of apps and other functions.

The left screen controls the sat nav, vehicle settings and a ‘Personal Assistant’ feature, while the right portion houses DAB radio and charging information.

The conventional instrument display has been replaced with a digital readout behind the steering wheel, although the Japanese carmaker has resisted the temptation to digitise everything: buttons for voice control, cruise control and volume adjustment can been seen on the steering wheel, in addition to a camera button on the right stalk.

Traditional climate-control dials are found on the centre console, and Honda has added a number of buttons to the wooden trim above the vents. Two 230V power outlets and one 12V outlet feature as well, as do a pair of USB sockets and a single HDMI port. The graphics also indicate that the Honda's charger will plug in using a port located on the bonnet of the car.

Honda says the infotainment system features a “clean design” and “intuitive technology”, representing a break from the systems used on its current range.

The Honda e is set to go on sale later in 2019 after completing a final phase of testing. It'll spearhead a range of electric cars in the pipeline from the Japanese manufacturer, which hopes two-thirds of its cars will feature electric or hybrid powertrains by 2025.

Release date

Order books for the Honda e are expected to open soon, with reservations already being taken. First deliveries are expected early in 2020.