The Honda E is Starting to Sound Like a Lot of Fun

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Honda has released a few new details regarding its upcoming, and adorable, electric runabout. Based on the Urban EV concept we saw debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017, the Honde E has endured some minor changes. Rounder than before, the vehicle’s headlamps are no longer partially obfuscated by the hood. The tail lights have also been converted to circles, giving the car a slightly goofy — but not unpleasant — external demeanor.

Having opened the (refundable) reservation booklet in May, Honda promised a quintet of color options and a standard side-mounted camera mirror system that effectively makes the model impossible to get in the United States. For now, the Japanese automaker seems content targeting European city dwellers who need more than a bicycle to get around or just happen to be in the market for a cute little electric car that might be a lot of fun to drive.

As this is a still prototype, everything is subject to change (including its name). But Honda has repeatedly insisted that it wants the production version of the E to stick as closely to the original idea as possible.

So far, the manufacturer has done a decent job… even if it did abandon the glorious bench seats we saw in the concept. However Honda’s promising the rear-drive platform’s wide stance and 50:50 weight distribution should deliver “dynamic driving characteristics,” so buckets are probably for the best.

The Honda E’s base — and probably only — motor at launch is said to deliver approximately 150 PS (110 kW/148 hp) of power, with torque being somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 Nm (221 lb-ft). Fed energy from a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, Honda is estimating a 125-mile range (or better). Restoring a depleted battery is said to be “quick,” with customers able to expect 80 percent of the car’s total charge returning in 30 minutes under idyllic circumstances.

No pricing details have been revealed but Europeans can reserve one now. The production version will emerge later this year.

[Images: Honda]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jul 03, 2019

    I think it's likely that they can't build enough to sell them here. Honda is a bit player in Europe. Scaling this up to meet even modest US demand would probably require a significantly larger investment in production facilities given Honda's sales in the US. Yes also they'd probably have to Americanized it with respect to range as so called urban cars don't do that well here. Can we just get a Fit that looks like this?

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Jul 03, 2019

    RWD e for warm climates only! No AWD version available! Weight is 50-50 may or may not help in snow?

    • See 3 previous
    • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Jul 04, 2019

      @Lockstops AWD makes quite a bit of sense where snowfall is occasional. You can wear out your winter tires waiting for a snow forecast to come true in the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Once they're bald, the snow will finally show up and your town's inadequate snow removal gear will see you snowed in for a week, unless you've got something with ground clearance and traction. As for the salt, my inept hometown dumps it all on the road for the first chance of snow. If I lived somewhere with a real winter, I would spend that winter with snow tires fitted to all four wheels of whatever makes sense. If it's a place where snow removal is competent, then I may or may not have something with AWD. There really are places where AWD and all season tires are a good answer though.

  • Probert A few mega packs would probably have served as decent backup.
  • Lou_BC Lead sleds. Now-a-days GM would just use Bondo.
  • Jrhurren This is a great series. Thanks Corey
  • Tane94 Not as stylish as the Soul which it is replacing but a practical shape and bonus points for EV only.
  • Ronin What is the magical white swan event in the foreseeable future that will suddenly reverse the trend?Success tends to follow success, and likewise failure. The perception, other than among true believers, is that e-cars are a lost cause. Neither government fiat, nor government bribery, nor even the promise of superior virtue among one's peers have been enough to push past the early adapter curve. Either the bust-out is right now for e-cars, or it doesn't happen. Marketing 101.Even subtle language-manipulation, such as deeming those possessing common sense as suffering from some sort of vague anxiety (eg, "range anxiety") has not been enough to induce people to care.Twenty years from now funny AI-generated comedians will make fun of the '20s, and their obsession with theose silly half-forgotten EVs. They will point out that, yes, EVs actually ran on electricity generated by such organic fuels as coal and natural gas after all, and then they will perform synthesized laughter at us.