Honda e review: range, battery & charging
The Honda e has a long enough range for a huge swathe of motorists' daily requirements, but almost all rivals can go much further
|Range||Battery size||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|131-137 miles||35.5kWh||5hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||36mins (10-80%, 100kW)|
The Honda e offers a pretty short range compared to alternative electric city cars like the Fiat 500 and Ora Funky Cat, but it’s on par with the MINI Electric and the entry-level BYD Dolphin – although the BYD costs roughly £12,000 less than the Honda. Standard rapid charging capability also means the occasional long journey should be more than achievable. Cables for charging from Type 2 or three-pin sockets are included, and there’s dedicated cable storage under the boot floor.
The Honda plugs in through a socket on top of the bonnet, which is convenient for parking nose-in or alongside a charger. Honda has also ensured the socket area doesn’t fill with water when it rains, as there’s a drainage hole built in.
Honda e range
The Honda’s official range varies from 131 to 137 miles depending on whether you go for 17 or 16-inch wheels. Our Advance test car had 17-inch alloys and we drove it in wintry, storm-force winds and rain, including a lot of motorway miles, so we can say you should expect a range of about 80 miles in the absolute worst-case scenario, with closer to 100 being the norm in everyday driving.
We’d expect to see that in warmer conditions, even with a few motorway miles included, and it’s likely you’ll get close to the official range number if you spend most of your time in town, where electric cars are most efficient. That's more than enough for many people's daily motoring, but you can go a lot further without topping up in one of the rivals mentioned above.
Most Honda e buyers will charge from a standard 7.4kW home wallbox, which will give you a full battery in just over five hours, while plugging into a standard domestic socket will see 100% battery achieved in under 16 hours. Unlike a lot of electric cars, the Honda doesn’t accept three-phase power, which includes any public AC charger or home wallbox capable of 11kW or faster.
If you want to top-up the Honda e any faster you’ll have to find a DC rapid charger with a CCS socket, which at this point includes most of the rapid and ultra-rapid charging points in the UK. Find one capable of delivering 100kW or faster and you’ll replenish the Honda e’s 35.5kWh battery from 10 to 80% capacity in 36 minutes. That’s on par with the Fiat 500 and MINI Electric’s rapid charging capabilities, and more than fast enough to make the Honda a perfectly viable car for the occasional longer motorway trip.
You can pre-set the hours you want the Honda to charge using the screens in the car, or on a phone app that also allows you to pre-set the interior temperature, check the car’s location, send routes to the sat nav and more. Your phone can even double up as the key if you wish.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Honda e features cool retro design and futuristic technology, but less stylish rivals beat it in the less glamorous but more useful areas of range and practicality
- 2Range, battery & charging - currently readingThe Honda e has a long enough range for a huge swathe of motorists' daily requirements, but almost all rivals can go much further
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe Honda e is as cheap to run as ever, but it’s now more expensive than electric family cars with more than twice the range
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Honda e is great fun to drive, yet also comfortable and brilliantly designed for town motoring
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainmentThe Honda e's screens seem a bit much at first, but you can use them as much or as little as you wish and just enjoy the brilliant retro-modern interior
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityBoot space in the Honda e isn't great, but otherwise practicality is good by small-car standards
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe Honda e is packed with driver aids, although the absence of some of the latest systems as standard meant it only scored four out of five in Euro NCAP crash testing
- 8Living with itDid a short driving range and pretty hefty price tag taint our time living with the Honda e electric supermini?