The Cute Four-Door Urban EV Draws 31,000 Hand-raisers
Honda said there were serious about getting its Urban EV into consumer hands. Now named the Honda E, the compact electric has garnered 31,000 advance deposits across Europe, Honda announced this week. The company also dropped more details of the production specs for those expecting delivery before the end of the year.
The Honda E is a part of Honda’s drive to fully electrify (i.e., add electric components, not necessarily full electric) its European fleet by 2025. The minimalist rear-wheel drive car is built on a skateboard chassis with perfect 50-50 weight distribution. It carries a 35.5 kilowatt-hour battery that can be charged at either Level 1 or 2 chargers or via a CCS2 connection at DC fast-chargers (which will deliver an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes). Fully charged, the E will deliver 125 miles of range.
Inside, the Honda E is not quite Model 3 basic, but close. A little tasteful real wood trim, a few touchscreens, and you’re good to go. Video cameras replace side mirrors (which may hang up U.S. introduction).
Honda portrays the E as the spiritual successor to the Civic, the core model of the brand. It will have one body style and only five exterior colors. From the specs it sounds like it has the blend of functionality and performance that has been that marque’s hallmark since it began in 1972.
Below is our most recent story when the Honda E was just a prototype
When I saw the two-door Honda Urban EV Concept at last year’s Frankfurt auto show, I thought it was more adorable than a puppy cuddled up on a rug in front of a fireplace. Now, five month’s later, Honda has taken the wraps off the Honda e Prototype at the Geneva Motor Show.
What you see is about 95 percent of what the full production car will look like when deliveries are made in early 2020.
The Honda e Prototype is a little bit larger than the Urban EV Concept and the two large suicide doors are gone, replaced with four conventional doors and a rear hatch, but it’s still a li’l cutie. Inspired by the original Honda Civic, it has a modern-retro look, with minimal detailing and a sporty stance. Its round headlights with LED technology sit within a piano-black surround, an effect that is repeated at the rear of the car.
Honda has put the charging port in the middle of the hood, so that it’s easily reached regardless of the side of the charger you park. However,,the side mirror cameras and flush, pop-out door handles are unlikely to make it through to the production car.
The bench seat in the Urban concept has been replaced with conventional seats and moved to the second row. As such, there is only seating for four people inside. The dash is dominated by a bank of digital screens; two 12.3-inch displays sit side by side and provide access to a suite of in-car apps and media functions. Seamless smartphone connectivity, voice-operated systems and all manner of information about the driver’s journey and driving style are available. A smaller digital readout replaces conventional instruments.
Buttons offering shortcuts to popular features are placed on the two-spoke steering wheel. There’s no gearlever. Instead, buttons for Drive, Reverse and Park are conveniently placed by the driver’s knee.
Little Drivetrain Information
As for the electric drivetrain, Honda is only giving the basics for now. A single electric motor drives the rear wheels, and driving range is expected to come in at around 120 miles based on the European drive cycle. Using the quoted range as a guide, it indicates a battery capacity of around 30 kilowatt-hours.
Pricing has not been revealed, but expect it to be pricey at around $30,000. In addition to Europe, Honda also intends to do a limited production run for Japan, but as of right now, the company doesn’t have plans to bring its city-oriented EV to the US market.
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