In-depth reviews

Honda e range, battery & charging

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

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Range, battery & charging rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£33,600 - £36,100
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 offers a pretty short range compared to alternative electric city cars 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 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 rainwater.

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.

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.

Charge time

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 AC charger of 11kW or up. Plug into one of those (fairly rare and normally found at 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 public rapid charger with a CCS socket, which is the case for almost any point you'll come across in the UK. Many of them run at 50kW max, 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. But that's still more than fast enough to make the Honda a perfectly viable car for the occasional longer motorway trip.

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