Admire It From Afar: Honda Reveals Specs for the 'E'

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
admire it from afar honda reveals specs for the 8216 e

Honda’s upcoming electric city car, destined for consumers in tightly-packed cities in Europe and Japan, has a significant fan base among online North Americans. To this group of consumers, the Honda E is the antithesis of Tesla — minus the emissions-free driving.

While the Honda E also aims to get drivers out of internal combustion cars, it goes about it in a different way. For one thing, it’s an EV fielded by a robust and profitable automaker. Sales and service should not bring a Honda buyer any worry, nor should the automaker’s balance sheet. The wee Honda aims to attract Earth-savers with modest proportions, modest price (for an EV), and modest range, with attainability and retro looks being its biggest non-ideological selling points. For all of this, the little car has earned much love from car watchers living on the wrong side of the ocean.

Ahead of its Frankfurt debut, Honda has finally revealed the E’s specifications.

Will it go faster than any car you’ve driven and feature hands-off driving that isn’t really hands-off driving? No. It is a personal commuting car, first and foremost.

The E comes in two power flavors: 134 horsepower and 152 horsepower, with 232 lb-ft of torque on tap no matter which motor you select. Sixty-two miles per hour (100 km/h) should be reached in about 8 seconds — not a screamer, but hardly a slouch.

Honda’s subcompact five-door EV makes use of a 35.5kWh battery pack for its energy reserves; given the car’s small footprint, there was only so much room for battery cells while still affording decent interior volume and cargo space. The automaker estimates range at 137 miles, which places the E slightly ahead of the Volkswagen e-Golf but behind such vehicles as the Nissan Leaf (and significantly behind every long-range EV out there, including the Hyundai Kona Electric). An 80-percent charge can be accomplished in 36 minutes at a 50 kWh plug-in, Honda claims. Dial that back to 30 minutes if you come across a 100 kWh charger.

What the E lacks in range, which Honda deems suitable for European commuting distances, it makes up for in roadgoing prowess. Boasting a perfect 50:50 weight distribution, the E routes its electric power to the rear wheels, where torque vectoring keeps the thing manageable in hard cornering. And the cornering can indeed be hard, as the battery pack affords the E a low center of gravity.

That sound you hear is eco- and cost-conscious Americans salivating at the prospect of tossing the E around on their way to work.

We’ve covered the other aspects of the E experience before — from its dual 12.3-inch touchscreens to the inclusion of the automaker’s Honda Personal Assistant service. Side cameras replace mirrors, a feature that, at least for the time being, is a no-no in the U.S.

While the E’s pricing is not yet known, Honda aims to make the car attainable for the young, urban buyers it’s already wooing. Reservations for priority ordering are already being accepted from consumers in the UK, Germany, France, and Norway. For North American customers, Honda has something else up its sleeve — a series of larger, rear-drive EVs underpinned by a new global electric architecture.

Don’t expect to get your hands on one for at least a few more years.

[Image: Honda]

Join the conversation
3 of 20 comments
  • HotPotato HotPotato on Sep 04, 2019

    Sure, Steph. I believe you that there's a huge pool of people who just LOVE a hypothetical Honda with the range and speed of a last-gen Nissan Leaf but just HATE Teslas. Super credible.

    • Stuki Stuki on Sep 04, 2019

      There's a pool of people who likes BEVs, but which still "hate" driving around in their parents' Tesla. From a practicality POV, aside from some very static and thought through usages; if you need more range than this provides, you're unlikely to be a good candidate (at least for purely practical reasons) for any BEV at all.

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Sep 06, 2019

    It would be great without that black panel on the hood.

  • Lou_BC The 2023 ZR2 is burdened with GM's 8 speed. It's been allegedly "fixed" so it doesn't gear hunt and shudder. I still won't trust it. The turbo 4 cylinder should address the lack of torque found in the V6. I test drove a full-sized Trail Boss. I could make it gear hunt. The turbo 4 didn't seem to be lacking in power, at least for an empty crewcab with a 6.5 box. It lacked anything resembling character. It had next to zero compression braking even with tow/haul engaged. Chevy should have continued offering the VM Motori based inline 4 diesel that's in the older Colorado trucks. I do like the fact that the 2023 comes with 33's standard and IIRC the wheel hubs/axles etc. have been beefed up to handle the larger rubber. The bolt pattern (IIRC) is shared with fullsized 1/2 tons opening up one's choice for aftermarket wheels.
  • EngineerfromBaja_1990 That's a >$50K truck right there. I don't need to have the build sheet, it's just way over the top. I'd keep it simpler in LT or Z71 trim. If I wanted to spend $50K I'd have gone full size already
  • MaintenanceCosts The ZR2 looks like a cartoon of a truck. I'd rather have one that just looks like a truck. Without the configurator it's hard to know for sure but my choice is probably a loaded Z71.
  • Roadscholar My 3k mile Veloster N has been at the dealer for 2 weeks for an engine misfire. At least I didn't get a ticket but I'd like to have my car back eventually.
  • SCE to AUX Cox reports that inventory is at 37 days - a far cry from the 60-70 considered normal just a few years ago. Average 'listing price' is $46k. remains high and supply remains low, which is why dealers continue to mark up prices.As for affordability, it's not that people's income has changed, but car prices are pushing some out of the market. That will have a long-term effect on new car demand, but it will also drive used car prices even higher.In the last year, Tesla has now passed VoA, BMW, Mazda, and Lexus, and is close to catching Subaru. That's gotta bother some people.