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Honda E – a cute new answer to your city commuting problems

  • Honda E Prototype all ready for Geneva
  • Clean exterior design, minimalist interior
  • Rear-wheel-drive platform, wide stance
2019 HONDA E: All ready for Geneva show. It might look like an older Mini, but it;s a whole new compact. Image: Honda
2019 HONDA E: All ready for Geneva show. It might look like an older Mini, but it’s a whole new compact. Image: Honda

GENEVA, Switzerland – Honda’s new urban electric car will be previewed at the 2019 Geneva international auto show,  the Honda E prototype and successor to the 2017 Honda Urban EV concept.

Each is vital to Honda’s Electric Vision strategy for Europe but it is likely the tech will filter down to the foot of Africa eventually.

Honda says the E combines unique design, advanced functionality and engaging driving dynamics – ”a package perfect for the cities”.

2019 HONDA E: Compact battery power good for 200km with multiple screens. Image: Honda
2019 HONDA E: Compact battery power (good for 200km) with multiple screens. Image: Honda

”Creation of the Honda E,” the automaker adds, ”focused on functionality and purpose but with simplicity of design and unique character. The smooth body contours lead over the windscreen and the front passengers.”

BONNET CHARGER

Elements intended to accentuate the uncluttered profile include flush ”pop out” door releases and compact cameras instead of external mirrors – each said to be unique in the cars’ class.

The battery-charging port exists as part of the bonnet and can be reached from either side of the car – smart move given its likely the car will’be sold in left- and right-hand drive markets. A small window is lit by diodes and displays the battery’s charge status.

The round headlight clusters, Honda says, are intended to enhance the overall clean design and to define the E’s ‘human” face.

READ MORE Honda features on Carman’s Corner

Honda points out that the car has a relatively long wheelbase, wide track and short overhangs – ”a low, muscular stance emphasised by the flared wheel-arches that accommodate the (proportionately) wide tyres”.

The designers aimed for a lounge-like cabin using sofa fabric and other tactile materials. ”The sense of spaciousness,” Honda adds, ”is enhanced by the walk-through flat floor, front and rear.”

2019 HONDA E: All ready for Geneva show. It might look like an older Mini, but it;s a whole new compact. Image: Honda
2019 HONDA E: All ready for the March 2019 Geneva show. It might look like an older Mini, but it’s a whole new compact. Image: Honda

Connectivity, as with most new vehicles these days, uses a customisable dual-screen display and has a range of applications and services. Digital aids are presented alongside many of the car’s comfort and infotainment controls.

Screens show rear images from the ”Camera Mirrors” are supported by a digital rear-view camera.

CHARGING? TIME FOR A COFFEE

Range is usually worrying on an EV but the E can deliver more than 200km and a fast charger, Honda says, can manage an 80%  charge in 30 minutes – good news for a quick coffee and muffin on the way to Durban while being powered by the rear wheels.

  • The Honda E Prototype will be unveiled on March at the Geneva show and production will start later in 2019.

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