HISTORY

The EV Urban concept, was first introduced in 2017. It was designed by Ken Sahara (exterior design) and Akinori Myoui (interior design) to evoke a friendly and comfortable feeling among potential buyers. Media coverage of the concept version presented the vehicle as “a charming vehicle designed to be reminiscent of Honda’s first small vehicles, especially the 1973 Honda Civic Hatchback”. It is compared to similar urban vehicles originally introduced in the 1970s and 80s, such as the Volkswagen Golf, Polo, Peugeot 205, Fiat 126, 127, and the Honda N600, which resembled Honda’s previous concept car, the EV-N.

A car in a pre-final version was unveiled during the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019. The design of the vehicle is an evolution of the Urban EV concept vehicle. Honda has equipped the vehicle with Flush mounted door handles and compact camera-based side mirrors to simplify the vehicle’s exterior appearance. In order to allow the vehicle to be charged on all sides, the vehicle’s charging socket is located in the center on the front of the vehicle. A small hood can be found where usually the internal combustion engines bonnet would sit.

The mass production version of the Honda E was presented at the IAA 2019 exhibition held in the city of Frankfurt, Germany in September 2019. The project was led by Kohei Hitomi. The vehicle’s exterior design team was managed by Ken Sahara and the interior design team was managed by Akinori Myoui.

According to Hitomi, the Honda E was received with significant opposition from the company. Other Honda executives feared the vehicle’s short range, arguing that a higher battery capacity was required. However, the project team insisted on using a small battery to complete the overall configuration of a small vehicle for urban use. Where as, a large battery would have resulted in increased vehicle dimensions or decrease internal space. Positive feedback was received with the presentation of the Urban EV concept vehicle, which confirmed the continuation of the project and the implementation of the final production plan of the vehicle.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Honda E uses a dedicated electric vehicle base platform, powered by an electric motor installed in the rear axle of the vehicle. This gives the characteristics of agility and compact proportions of a vehicle intended for marketing for urban use. The battery is cooled by a liquid cooling system, which is located at the wheelbase of the vehicle, below the passenger compartment floor. This allows for a weight distribution of 50/50 and an extremely low center of gravity.

The rear-wheel drive prevents over-steering. The rear-drive also enables the front wheels to have a greater steering articulation, resulting in a turning radius (at wheel centre) of approximately 4.3 metres (14 ft), or 4.6 metres (15 ft) at the body. The platform uses an independent McPherson support suspension system for each wheel on the vehicle.

The electric motor has power of 100 or 113 kilowatts (134 or 152 hp respectively). According to Honda tests, the vehicle has an acceleration capacity of 0-100 km / h In about 8 seconds.

The Honda E includes a “sport mode” to refine the accelerator pedal response. It includes a “single pedal control” mode, which allows driving only one pedal, while failure to press the accelerator pedal will activate an energy-storing stop system, which will return some energy back to the vehicle battery. The vehicle is powered by the electric motor, with no use of the brake pedal at all (except at a complete stop). So far rumors of a high-performance version have been refuted by Honda at the car premiere in Frankfurt.

The lithium-ion-based vehicle battery has a capacity of 35.5 kWh, which provides a range of up to 220 km according to Honda’s inside information.

The Honda E features a combined Combo 2 charging socket, which allows AC charging and fast DC charging, depending on the power source. Using DC fast charging, 80% of the vehicle range can be charged in half an hour. Honda has announced its own charging station, which allows charging at a rate of 7.4 kilowatts (single-phase) or 22 kilowatts (three-phase), depending on the power source. Using a 32 amp power source allows the car battery to be fully charged at the Honda charging station in about 4 hours.

INTERIOR

The vehicle’s dashboard, which extends to the full width of the vehicle’s interior, includes 5 screens. One of the screens is 8.8 inches in size that display driver data. 2 screens are 12.3 inches in size used for the vehicle’s multimedia system. The remaining 6-inch screens are used for a rear view display instead of the side mirrors, in a system that Honda calls the “Side Camera Mirror System”. The dual infotainment displays can independently run separate applications and are swappable.

The Honda E multimedia system includes support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The vehicle is additionally equipped with Honda’s personal assistant, who uses machine learning that trains its voice recognition. Voice recognition is activated by saying “Ok Honda” with the following command.

HONDA E REVIEW

TECHNICAL DATA

Honda e
Power (kW) 100 kW 113 kW
Power (bhp) 136 bhp 153 bhp
Torque 300 Nm 315 Nm
Battery capacity 35,5 kWh
Charging time at a terminal 100kW 30 minutes (à 80 %)
Charger 6,6 kW
Range (cycle WLTP) 200 km
Weight 1 500 kg
Maximum speed 145 km/h
0 – 100 km/h seconds