Visitors to the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard are among the first in the UK to see Honda’s new electric city car, which goes simply by the name of “e”.
When Honda first presented the e as the “Urban EV” concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017, crowds and journalists alike were enthralled. Just over 18 months later, Honda is now taking orders for the production car, and the Festival provides a first opportunity for the UK public to get up close with the car at Honda’s stand in the manufacturer’s area – cleverly designed to look like the e’s own fascia.
The Honda e comes in at just under 3.9 metres long and 1.75 metres wide. Short overhangs, particularly at the rear, give the car a relatively long wheelbase, allowing it to seat four people.
A relatively low centre of gravity – Honda says it’s 50cm from the floor – and a wide stance, should enhance the e’s stability. The e also employs four-wheel independent McPherson strut suspension.
Power comes from a 35.5kWh water-cooled lithium ion battery pack. This powers a single motor which drives the rear wheels only, producing 110kw – equivalent to 150PS (147hp) – with 300Nm (220lb ft) of torque.
That gives the e a relatively small range of 125 miles, but as a city car it doesn’t need a large range. It’s compatible with Type 2 and CCS2 chargers, and can charge from 0-80 per cent in just 30 minutes. With only the rear wheels powered, Honda has been able to increase the steering range of the front wheels, allowing for a kerb-to-kerb turning circle of just 4.3 metres.
Fun fact? You’ll be able to drive the Honda e just using the accelerator. “Single pedal control” accelerates the car as normal when you press the accelerator, and engages regenerative braking when you release it to slow the car down. That should enhance the car’s efficiency in city driving, while the rear-view camera system – which replaces conventional door mirrors – will reduce drag by around 3.8 per cent, and improve efficiency at higher speeds.
Along with a first look, attendees have been able to see the car in action over the course of the Festival weekend, and Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda Formula 1 driver Alexander Albon will drive the e up the hill on Sunday.