2020 Honda e: The cutest EV on sale?

2020 Honda e: The cutest EV on sale?

2020 Honda e: The cutest EV on sale? 1920 1280 Jack

As you may already know, Honda is no stranger to alternative forms of propulsion other than the standard petrol and diesel engines. They’ve been in on the hybrid game since the 1990s with the Insight that rivalled the Toyota Prius, and they’ve even had experience with hydrogen with their FCX Clarity from 2008.

With that in mind, you would think that Honda also have a rich and long-term history with battery electric vehicles, but, in European territories at least, the brand has never forayed into the segment. The Honda e is set to change that, with its adorable retro looks.

The Honda e is a brand-new supermini designed and built from the ground up as a standalone electric model in the range. The styling itself is quite old-school, though, with heavy inspiration taken from older models in the Honda portfolio such as the original Civic. Like the recently announced electric Fiat 500, Honda have done a smart job with blending retro styling with cutting-edge technology.

Climb inside, and there’s no mistaking that this is a car that has its cute round eyes set directly on the future. There are no fewer than five large TFT screens that greet you as you sit down, with two of them dedicated to showing the image of the door-mounted cameras. Indeed, the Honda e does away completely with conventional wing mirrors, using the cameras and screens instead – all in the name of aerodynamic efficiency. The remaining screens spread right across the dashboard to appear as one almost seamless multimedia experience.

But is the Honda e just a load of form over function? Within its small package sits a 35.5kWh battery pack, paired alongside a perky 152bhp electric motor that provides you with enough poke to take you from 0-60mph in 8.3 seconds – more than enough for a city car.

That battery pack can deliver a theoretical maximum range of 137 miles, which is fairly low, whichever way you put it. The new electric Fiat 500 can deliver 199 miles from its larger battery pack, and other superminis such as the Peugeot e-208 will comfortably return over 200 miles on a run. Even the Mini Electric, a car which some journalists bemoaned for its lack of range, officially beats it with a 144-mile range, and the aging BMW i3 pips it with 160 miles of range.

With all that being said, if you’re in the market for a Honda e, there’s a good chance you’ll very rarely ever leave the city with it – making the shorter range less of a concern. Starting at £26,600 inclusive of £3,000 Government Plug-in Car Grant discount, it comes with some other neat urban tricks, too, such as being able to make a 180-degree turn in just 8.6 meters and a host of premium features as standard including smarty entry and start, leather steering wheel, sky roof, rear privacy glass and front heated seats to name a few.

Should you want to venture on the motorway, though, the little Honda’s rapid charging ability of 80% battery charge in 30 minutes should make light work of a motorway stint with breaks in-between. The 100mph top speed means you won’t feel out of your depth around faster vehicles, either.

As Honda’s first all-electric urban car, the e represents an important first step for Honda into the mainstream EV market. Whilst the range could be longer, all is forgiven with those adorable looks.

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