Where to Now? Saying Goodbye to the Honda-e and Welcoming the e-NY1
In a turn of events that has left electric car enthusiasts in Europe with a tinge of melancholy, Honda has officially confirmed the discontinuation of the battery-electric Honda-e hatchback in the region. News of its demise was met with a mix of nostalgia and regret, marking the end of a short-lived journey for the quirky, retro-chic electric vehicle that garnered both praise for its design and criticism for its pricing strategy and compromises.
A Flashback to 2019
The Honda-e first graced the automotive stage at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, capturing hearts with its charming design and forward-thinking electric powertrain. The following year, it made its way into the European market, offering enthusiasts a taste of what could be described as a 1975 Honda Civic CVCC reimagined for the electric era. Its exterior boasted cuteness and style, reminiscent of its retro inspirations, while the interior embraced inviting materials, albeit with a penchant for screens. Packed with tech innovations and showcasing a remarkable 14-foot turning circle, the Honda-e quickly amassed attention, with 22,000 eager individuals registering their interest when the prototypes were unveiled.
Challenges of Price and Range
Despite its initial allure, the Honda-e faced challenges that ultimately impacted its commercial success. The powertrain and range details, coupled with the pricing strategy, failed to translate the registered interest into actual sales. With two trims on offer, the base 134-horsepower version commenced at €33,470 in Germany, while the 152-hp Advance trim added €3,000 to the price. Both trims shared the same 37.5-kWh battery, offering an estimated 220 WLTP kilometers (137 miles) on a single charge.
In a statement addressing the discontinuation, Honda acknowledged the Honda-e’s role in attracting new customers to the brand, emphasizing its distinctive design, advanced technology, and the trademark driving dynamics associated with the Honda name. The Honda-e stood as a trailblazer, spearheading the brand’s ambitious strategy to electrify 100 percent of Honda’s mainstream European lineup by 2022.
Enter the e-NY1
Replacing the Honda-e on the electric stage is the battery-electric Honda-e-NY1, already making waves in Germany. Priced at €47,990 and featuring an SUV form factor and driving position, the e-NY1 promises a range of 412 kilometers (256 miles). As Honda bids farewell to one era, it sets the stage for the next, teasing an upcoming EV showcase of global models at the Consumer Electronics Show in the coming year.
In the intricate dance between innovation and market demands, the Honda-e played its part with charm and distinction. As the sun sets on this chapter, the promise of new electric horizons beckons, and enthusiasts can anticipate the unveiling of Honda’s next moves on the global electric stage.