Back in 2017, Honda unveiled the Honda Urban EV concept and the Sports EV Concept, and while both were well received, the Urban EV got the most love thanks to its quirky retro style. For our part, we liked the pair so much we awarded them our 2018 Concepts of the Year award.
At the time of the reveal, Honda made it clear that a version of the Urban EV would hit production. It later rolled out an update in the form of the more rounded off, less retro inspired prototype and gave it a name: Honda E. And now, Honda is showcasing the production version of its eclectic, all-electric runabout. There’s only one problem, the Honda E won’t be sold here in the U.S. for “reasons.”
The Honda E is being marketed as an urban commuting car that will be easy to navigate down crowded and narrow European streets and provide a little bit of fun for the driver when they’re able to get out on the open road.
The Honda E will feature an electric motor that makes up to 148 horsepower with 221 lb-ft of torque. Powering this motor is a compact, lightweight 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Honda says the water-cooled, fast-charging battery is capable of getting an 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes and offers a range of more than 124 miles; you can check out how that stacks up with the current crop of electric cars here. The E’s battery pack is located under the floor, which aids with lowering the car’s center of gravity, key for improved handling.
One of the main focuses for Honda engineers was to make the car fun yet safe. To achieve this, the Honda E was designed with an independent front and rear suspension, and engineers have delivered a 50:50 weight distribution to further improve the car’s dynamics. The Honda E also utilizes a high-strength yet lightweight skeletal structure.
Like several other EVs, the Honda E will also feature single-pedal control, meaning that the car will automatically slow down as the driver eases up on the go pedal in order to help regenerate energy. (Learn which EVs are the best for one-pedal driving HERE.) Power is delivered to the rear wheels, and a turning radius of 14 feet aids with getting into tight spaces.
A final production version of the Honda E will be unveiled later this year with reservations starting in the U.K., Germany, France, and Norway. It’s s a bummer we’ll probably never see this cool little car in the U.S. market, but here’s hoping Honda has noticed the positive reaction to its funky EV and changes its mind.