Automotive

Published on September 1st, 2020 | by Amirul Mukminin

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Honda e is Perfect for City Driving

The Honda e electric car was launched in Europe earlier this month and unlike its rivals, which focus more on long driving ranges in sedan and SUV forms, the little hatchback is meant solely for city driving.

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This is reflected in its battery capacity, which is about half that of the Tesla Model 3, that provides 280 km of range on a single charge. Some of the e’s bigger, higher-riding rivals can drive as far as 570 km on one charge.

“Most EVs use large capacity batteries, but often, much of that capacity goes unused during city driving,” Tomofumi Ichinose, chief engineer of the Honda e, told reporters.

“We question whether larger vehicles are appropriate for urban areas, and believe that smaller is a better option for cities.”

According to Ichinose, Honda engineers had prioritised accurate and sharp handling to enable easy u-turns in narrow streets, while the side mirrors have been replaced with interior displays to avoid bumps and scrapes during parking. This will come in handy when driving in London or Paris, where streets are notoriously narrow.

The e may have a retro styling inspired by Honda’s classic N360 and N600 from the 1960s but it is very much intended as an upmarket city car with a price tag of around 33,000 euros, which is higher than the Renault Zoe ZE50, which is roomier and has longer driving range. However, it is still cheaper than the Model 3 and Audi e-tron.

As for sales, Honda is expecting to sell 10,000 units in Europe and 1,000 units in Japan annually. The all-electric hatchback will be launched in its home market in October and will not be sold in other markets including North America and China. The automaker also said that it will introduce the Honda e into its car-sharing fleet in Japan.

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