New 2020 Honda e: electric city car to cost from £26k in the UK

Prices for the Honda e electric city car to start from £26,160 after the government grant, or £299 per month on a PCP deal

Making its debut in production spec at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, the all-new Honda e pure-electric city car will cost from £26,160 after the government grant, or £299 per month with a £6,000 deposit when it goes on sale early next year. 

However, a higher-spec Honda e Advance model is open for order from today with deliveries expected at the beginning of next year ahead of the more affordable model. The Advance will cost from £28,660 after the plug-in car grant, or around £349 per month on a PCP deal, and will get a 152bhp motor on its rear axle for a 0-62mph time of 8.0sec. The entry-level car gets 134bhp, but is yet to have further performance details confirmed.

• New Honda e prototype review

The Honda e will cover up to 136 miles to a charge, although the more powerful Advance is likely to offer a range closer to 125 miles. A full charge will take five hours from a standard 7kW home wallbox, or a 100kW rapid charger will deliver an 80% battery top-up in 30 minutes. The more common 50kW chargers found on UK motorways will do the same in under an hour.

Owners will have the use of an app to control remote charging, cabin pre-sets, navigation and more, while every Honda e gets the bank of touchscreens dominating the interior as well as the Side Camera Mirror System that replaces conventional side mirrors with cameras. The Advance model adds a semi-autonomous parking mode, upgraded wifi and a rear-view mirror that doubles as a reversing camera. 

The Honda e is five-door only, and offers a turning circle similar to that of a Smart ForTwo as well as a 50/50 weight balance in order to make it as wieldy as possible around town. It’s roughly the same size as the cheaper but less tech-heavy Renault Zoe, and is closely targeted at the Mini Electric.

New 2020 Honda e: dimensions and design

Honda’s design team used the brand’s classic cars, such as the Mk1 Civic, as inspiration. As such, it retains relatively compact dimensions, measuring 3,895mm long, 1,750mm wide and 1,495mm tall, making it more compact than the BMW i3 and the Renault ZOE. As such, there is only seating for four people, with a full-width rear bench accommodating two adults.

It features a pair of door mounted cameras, rather than conventional mirrors, as standard, lifted directly from the close-to-production Honda e prototype. Small stalks with rearward facing cameras are equipped on the doors and broadcast a live feed directly into the cabin on two six-inch screens placed at either extreme of the dashboard.

• Best electric cars on sale

The driver will be able to configure a normal or wide view, while Honda claims they are 90 per cent more aerodynamically efficient than normal mirrors. Alone, Honda says that the camera stalks contribute 3.8 per cent more to the e's all-electric range.

Like the prototype Honda e, the production-ready model features a set of unique pop-out door handles, while the vehicle can be locked and unlocked via a smartphone application.

Honda’s design team started from scratch with the Honda e’s cabin. It’s trimmed in a blend of wood and leather, while its dashboard is dominated by a pair of 12.3-inch screens. They stretch the width of the interior and provide access to a host of entertainment applications, as well as the usual driving information such as speed, range and navigation.

A suite of new connected services will debut on the Honda e, including the “Honda Personal Assistant.” Honda claims the system features a smart artificial intelligence facility, which can understand natural language commands. As an added benefit, the system uses machine learning to develop a better understanding of the driver’s voice over time.

Honda’s “My Honda+” smartphone application will also allow drivers to monitor their vehicles’ charge status, location and security. Owners can also use the application to pre-programme sat-nav directions, search for nearby charging stations and set the cabin’s climate control prior to entry.

Buyers will be able to choose from five exterior colour options, with white, blue and gun-metal metallic finishes available, as well as a subdued black and striking yellow. The Japanese firm says it has already received over 31,000 ‘expressions of interest’ across Europe, with over 9,000 coming from the UK.

What does the new Honda e have to beat? These are the best electric cars currently on sale

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