By all accounts, the Honda e was a pretty good electric car. It cost way too much and had much too short a range, but other than that, it was terrific. Not surprisingly, it sold in very small numbers. No doubt Honda lost a ton of money on the vehicle.
But a journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step, according to an old Chinese proverb. Now Honda is back with another battery electric model for the UK and European markets that is, for all intents and purposes, a BEV version of the HR-V. Honda calls it a stylish B-segment SUV and has given it the totally confounding name of e:Ny1. How do you pronounce that? Enyone? E-Anyone? Honda doesn’t say.
Revealed at the Honda European Media Event in Offenbach, Germany, last week, it is the company’s second battery electric offering for European and UK customers and is designed to meet the growing customer demand for fully electric B-segment SUVs. The Volkswagen ID.3 is a C-segment vehicle — that will give you some idea about the size of the newest Honda.
Honda e:N Architecture F Platform
The e:Ny1 is built on the all new Honda e:N Architecture F, a front-wheel-drive platform focused on three fundamental attributes — a dedicated high-rigidity body structure, a low center of gravity, and carefully managed underfloor aerodynamics to ensure the SUV delivers a fun and confidence-inspiring drive. We aren’t sure what underfloor dynamics have to do with fun and confidence-inspiring driving, but they no doubt help the e:Ny1 to achieve the most range possible, which is a good thing.
The e:N Architecture F platform incorporates a high-performance, lightweight drive unit that integrates the power electronics, electric motor, and gearbox. This generates a maximum output of 150 kW (201 hp), with 310 Nm (229 ft-lb) of torque and is engineered to provide smooth and comfortable acceleration and deceleration.
Under the floor sits a 68.8 kWh high-capacity, lithium-ion battery that delivers up to 412 km (256 mi) of range (WLTP). Using a DC fast charger, the e:Ny1 can be recharged from 10% to 80% state of charge in 45 minutes.
Here’s more from the Honda press release. The company says the e:Ny1 offers a fresh, distinctive design and the latest advanced technology. The e:Ny1 follows Honda’s human-centered development philosophy which makes the most of the car’s fully electric powertrain to deliver an SUV with fun-to-drive dynamics, a smooth and refined ride, and intuitive versatility.
A bold and sophisticated exterior aesthetic is created by a short front overhang, large wheels, and a wide track. The e:Ny1 also debuts an all-new electric identity for Honda, with white “H” badges featuring around the vehicle, including the nose badge, wheel center caps, and steering wheel. In addition, a new typeface spells out “Honda” on the tailgate for a premium look that will be a feature on the brand’s future EVs. We don’t know about you, but we don’t think the paint color on your logo is something that needs to be featured in a press release.
The hype continues. Honda says clever packaging of the electric drivetrain components ensures the e:Ny1 offers remarkable interior space and comfort. An all-new center console features a simple layout of easily accessible buttons, multiple storage options, and wireless charging.
Now, those are things worth highlighting. There is a trend away from using a touchscreen to control all the features of a car, something pioneered by Tesla. Touchscreens have their place but many drivers are quite comfortable tuning their own radio or opening the glove compartment without drilling down through multiple menus.
The dashboard of the e:Ny1 does offer a large 15.1-inch touchscreen that provides access to a comprehensive suite of infotainment and driving options.
An all-new chassis developed specifically for battery electric vehicles has ensured improved torsional rigidity. Key to this is high-tensile steel, used across 47% of the e:Ny1’s body (by weight). Alongside the new platform and powertrain, these combine to offer the dynamic performance, exceptional comfort, and refinement drivers will expect from Honda’s latest EV.
“The e:Ny1 is the logical next step on our electrification journey in Europe,” said Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President at Honda Motor Europe Ltd. “Our development philosophy blends intelligent, customer-centric technology with beautiful design and fun-to-drive dynamics. This latest SUV exemplifies Honda’s commitment to electrification and is the latest step on Honda’s electrification journey.”
The e:Ny1 And Styling
We often complain about overly fussy styling, but in this case there are no such worries. While the Honda e was cute and cool — and represented a modern take on the original Honda Civic from 1973 — the e:Ny1 is somewhere between blah and bland. There certainly is little about the look of the car that would cause anyone’s pulse rate to accelerate. We are used to better from Honda.
Honda does have some rather nice looking electric SUVs scheduled to arrive soon in North America, especially the Prologue, but that is a significantly larger vehicle crafted to appeal specifically to America tastes. The e:Ny1 is a snoozer by comparison.
It is hard to judge how Europeans and those in the UK will react to the Honda e:Ny1 until we know more about pricing. The Honda e cost way too much money for what it was. B-segment vehicles appeal mostly to customers who are focused on value rather than pizzazz and should be priced accordingly.
Volkswagen says it is working on a B-segment electric car that it claims will sell for €25,000, so that suggests where the Honda e:Ny1 needs to be in order to be competitive. The Honda e starting price with a 35.5 kWh battery was just under £30,000, so Honda will need to have found ways to reduce the cost of the e:Ny1 rather dramatically. The company did not reveal when the e:Ny1 is expected to be in showrooms or when pricing information will be forthcoming.
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