In-depth reviews

Honda e range, battery & charging

The Honda e delivers enough range for a huge swathe of motorists' daily requirements, but some rivals can go much further

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Range, battery & charging rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£29,950 - £32,450
Fuel Type:
Electric
RangeBattery sizeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
131-137 miles35.5kWh5hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)36mins (10-80%, 100kW)

The Honda e has a rather short range compared to rivals like the Renault ZOE and BMW i3, but it’s on par with the MINI Electric and usefully better than the Smart EQ ForTwo. Standard DC 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. As with any electric car, the connection has been extensively tested and engineered for safety even in heavy snow or rain, so don’t worry that the charging area looks like a bucket for rain water.

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. We haven’t tried the app yet, so can’t comment on how good it is.

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 wheels and we drove it in wintery, 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.

We’d expect to see 100 miles or more in warmer conditions, even with a few motorway miles, and it’s likely that you’ll get close to the official range 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.

Charge time

Most buyers will charge from a standard 7.4kW home wallbox, which will give you a full battery in just over five hours, while plugging the Honda e into a standard domestic socket will see 100% battery in under 16 hours. The Honda doesn’t accept a three-phase charge, which includes any AC charger of 11kW or up. Plug into one of those (fairly rare and normally found in industrial units or campsites), and the car will top up at a third of the charger’s maximum rate – i.e. 3.6kW from an 11kW charger.

You can charge the Honda e at any DC charger with a CCS socket, which includes most DC chargers in the UK. Many of them are 50kW chargers, which will deliver an 80% charge to the car in under 40 minutes. The Honda does have the capacity to charge at up to 100kW, but rarely maintains that speed for long (as bigger-battery electric cars like Audi e-tron can), since smaller batteries are more adversely affected by regularly charging at those speeds.

As a result, despite the car being able to occasionally buzz up to 100kW, plugging into such a rapid charger will see the Honda charge at only just over 50kW, so you’ll get an 80% charge in some 30 minutes. Still more than fast enough that the Honda is a perfectly viable car for the occasional longer motorway trip.

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