There are two options: the standard Honda E, with 136 horsepower, and the Honda E Advance, which costs a couple of grand more and has 154 horsepower and hits 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds. The former is good for a maximum 137 miles, the latter with 17-inch wheels slicing that to just 125 miles. That range puts it on a par with the Mini Electric
and far short of the Renault Zoe, Peugeot e-208 or Nissan Leaf
, all of which comfortably top 200 miles.
However, they all take about seven hours to charge
on a domestic wallbox, whereas the Honda takes just four hours, or 30 minutes at a public rapid charging point. In no way, then, is the Honda E any use as the sole car for a household, unless you are a city dweller who never ventures beyond the city limits, or is prepared to wait at least 30 minutes to recharge each time. Such limited range means most critics have deducted points, but show us many households where the electric car is the only car.
Even 200 miles is not enough to convince most people they don’t need a petrol or diesel back-up plan. In which case, if your electric car is going to be your second car, we say this is a fine choice.
And one made even finer, may we add, by the incredible, taxi-esque turning circle. You also get normal and sport driving modes, and can switch to one-pedal driving, where easing off the throttle acts as braking and conserves the energy. Unlike most other EVs, you can then modulate the severity of the one-pedal effect from mild retardation, to a complete stop without touching the brakes. We also like the unapologetic celebration of the charging point on the car - Honda has made a feature of it, sticking the black plastic lid and housing right in the middle of the bonnet.
This car feels like the first overt, joyous celebration of electric driving. It’s not trying to be smart, impressive, enviable or futuristic. It’s trying to be fun, to which we tip our collective Auto Trader hat.