Honda E:Ny1 Debuts in Europe

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Honda raised the curtain for its second all-electric model for the European market this week. The e:Ny1 is an atrociously named battery-powered crossover that serves as the electrified counterpart to the Euro-spec HR-V. While not a formal debut, the Japanese manufacturer is teasing the EV’s design language and offering up some relevant details — perhaps foreshadowing things to come in North America.

Truth be told, small battery electric vehicles haven’t gotten an abundance of love in the United States. Consumers seem to prefer electrics with a premium bend. However, models like the Volkswagen ID.4 appear to be seeing higher demand as the months roll on. Maybe there would be room for something like the e:Ny1 in a few more years.

Utilizing Honda’s e:N Architecture F, the front-drive crossover has a chassis specifically designed for electric vehicles that’s supposed to be quite rigid. It also keeps the battery mounted low, creating a center of gravity ideal for pleasurable driving dynamics.

With an expected output of 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque, that sounds like a winning recipe for such a small vehicle. But we cannot forget that battery packs are exceptionally heavy and we don’t yet have any acceleration numbers. Your author has found small EVs boasting similar levels of torque to be quite a bit of fun around town. But they typically begin to lose their appeal when you begin approaching highway speeds.

The 68.8-kWh, lithium-ion battery is said to offer 256 miles of range on the overly generous WLTP cycle. American customers are going to want more than that because we cover more ground per day than the Europeans and our EPA will undoubtedly certify the e:Ny1 for fewer miles between charges. Though it is supposed to recoup energy relatively swiftly with DC fast charging — getting the battery from 10 to 80 percent in a claimed 45 minutes.

Honda’s design team has been on a roll of late, providing tastefully handsome models. The e:Ny1 borrows most of its design from the European HR-V. But it has a unique grille and little touches all around the exterior to distinguish itself from the gasoline and hybrid crossover. For example, rather than slapping an H on the tailgate, Honda opted to spell its name out in a font it seems to be receiving for EVs.

The interior likewise manages to be traditional, with just enough unique touches to differentiate itself from gasoline-powered models. The only real downside seems to be how heavily reliant controls seem to be on the touchscreen interface. There aren’t a lot of physical buttons in the cabin and all instrumentation comes by way of stuck-on digital tablets. While trendy, this is also one of the ways automakers cut manufacturing costs.

For now, the odds of the model making its way to North America seem relatively slim. Demand doesn’t seem to be high enough to rationalize such a move and Honda seems much more focused on pushing EVs in Europe and Asia. In fact, the e:Ny1 seems to be a carbon copy of the Chinese-market e:NS1.

“The e:Ny1 is the logical next step on our electrification journey in Europe,” stated Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President at Honda Motor Europe. “Our development philosophy blends intelligent, customer-centric technology with beautiful design and fun-to-drive dynamics. This latest SUV exemplifies Honda’s commitment to electrification and is the latest step on Honda’s electrification journey.”

It probably isn’t the vehicle for us. Not until EV acceptance increases and the maximum range of small battery electric vehicles improve. However, we wouldn’t mind seeing some of the exterior design elements migrating over to some of the products already sold here.

[Images: Honda]

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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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4 of 17 comments
  • YellowDuck YellowDuck on May 15, 2023

    I am imagining someone in the southern US pronouncing that model name...

    • See 1 previous
    • Vvk Vvk on Jul 12, 2023

      Doesn't it just say "anyone?" Honda Anyone?

  • YellowDuck YellowDuck on May 15, 2023

    Robin Masters...try to pronounce it the way you might sound out a vanity license plate. To me e:Ny1 says "enyl". Now pronounce that with a drawl. Sorry, maybe I have a dirty mind.

  • Michael Gallagher I agree to a certain extent but I go back to the car SUV transition. People began to buy SUVs because they were supposedly safer because of their larger size when pitted against a regular car. As more SUVs crowded the road that safety advantage began to dwindle as it became more likely to hit an equally sized SUV. Now there is no safety advantage at all.
  • Probert The new EV9 is even bigger - a true monument of a personal transportation device. Not my thing, but credit where credit is due - impressive. The interior is bigger than my house and much nicer with 2 rows of lounge seats and 3rd for the plebes. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, around 300miles of range, and an e-mpg of 80 (90 for the 2wd). What a world.
  • Ajla "Like showroom" is a lame description but he seems negotiable on the price and at least from what the two pictures show I've dealt with worse. But, I'm not interested in something with the Devil's configuration.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I really like the C-Class, it reminds me of some trips to Russia to visit Dear Friend VladdyPoo.
  • ToolGuy New Hampshire