It took Honda a long time to produce their first electric car, but I think it was worth the wait. The Japanese company produced a concept electric version in 2017, but the Honda e is their first mass market EV.
The Honda e may not win any prizes for its external looks as it has a boxy shape, but as Con Houlihan used to say … now read on.
Inside it’s simply gorgeous and with the array of controls on the dash I thought I was in the cockpit of a 747. I cannot play the piano, but with the controls spread out across the dash, the display reminded me of a piano.
I showed the car to my daughter and she really liked the interior colour combinations with a strip of brown all along the dash.
It was definitely one of the funkiest looking cars that I have driven, since I drove a Citroen C4 with air bumps on the doors a few years back.
There are no side mirrors in the Honda e; instead you get what I would describe as two small television screens in the lower corners of the windscreen.
The screens show what traffic is coming up behind you on the outside and inside. It’s a brilliant service. Removing the side mirrors means that there is no wind drag on the car, thus saving electricity.
After waiting so long you would think that Honda would have come up with a better range than 222km, which is the official figure.
They say that the average daily commute is around 80km. That might be true in Tokyo, but I reckon the average is a bit higher here. Honda make no secret that initially they are aiming their electric car at urban dwellers.
I only had a brief drive in a white-colour version and there was also a blue version available at Honda headquarters at Brownsbarn on the Naas Road.
Brownsbarn was the last stop for the Bianconi’s Cork to Dublin stage coach over 200 years ago. Charles Bianconi is remembered across the road from Brownsbarn where a road is named in his memory in Citywest Business Park. Will the Honda e be remembered in Brownsbarn also?
At first glance I thought it was a two-door car, but as with many other models the opening handles for the rear doors are very discreet. The boot is fairly small.
Thanks to the Honda Parking Pilot, the car can find you a space and it will park itself, but the driver does need to be in the car.
I remember the old Honda Civic where the view in the rear window was not great. No such problems in the Honda e, which has a huge rear window and a decent-sized wiper also.
Honda’s marketing phrase is ‘The Power of Dreams.’ And their first effort at mass market electric cars certainly lives up that that strapline.
Two versions will be on sale initially in Ireland, the 136-brake horse power for €29,995 and the 154-brake power version at €32,995. Check them out at your local Honda dealer.
Naturally Honda are going to roll-out their EV technology across their range of cars and the next generation of their Jazz will be electric.
It should be available in Ireland very soon having made its global premier at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.