Say hello to…
…the Honda E, one of the very few pure electric city cars available to fleets and business drivers in the UK. While the Honda E is fitted with a relatively small battery, with a 35.5kWh capacity, the Japanese brand believes that not everyone needs a long range electric car and that a smaller battery and shorter range car – the E’s range comes in at an official 137 miles – means lower weight and greater efficiency.
It’s a great theory, however, other pure electric vehicles manage to be more efficient while weighing more and with a greater range.
Against this, is the fact the Honda E has stand out looks and any business or company car driver looking to embrace this aspect is on to a winner.
Honda’s also kept the E range incredibly simple. There are just two trim levels:
- standard (which doesn’t have a specific designation)
As standard all Es come with side mirror cameras, dual 12.3-inch infotainment screen, satnav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, 1 HDMI port, 4 USB sockets, climate control, heated front seats, rear view camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, speed limiter, traffic sign recognition, sunroof and high-beam support. The Advance trim level doesn’t just add more specification – in the way of parking pilot, surround view camera, heated steering wheel, uprated stereo and blind spot monitoring – but it also includes a power increase from 136hp to 154hp with no change in the 137 mile official range.
Is The Honda E Suitable For My Fleet
Not everyone needs a big car and with so few fully electric small cars available, the Honda E is almost automatically in with a shot. What’s more, why pay for more than you need? If a user-chooser is looking for a small car to make regular trips to the station, but still requires a genuinely premium looking and feeling car the Honda E will fill that gap.
One point that’s worth keeping in mind under ‘suitability’ is that the Honda E is a four-seat car, not a five-seater.
Gensen Reports reveals very low maintenance costs for the E of just £22 a month on a three-year, 30,000 mile basis.
Leasing A Honda E
As the first pure electric Honda, the E doesn’t have a proved residual value, however, Honda has recently switched to a pull vehicle supply model, rather than one that pushes cars into the market. This should result in stronger resale values.
Gateway2Lease is listing the Honda E Advance at £435 per month on a 9+35 business contract hire agreement based on 10,000 miles a year.
While Honda’s own website lists the car at £437 per month on a 6+36 contract with 5,000 miles a year.
Driving A Honda E
Honda makes it very hard not to love the E. While emotion usually takes a back seat in fleet decision making, we all know that if there’s a choice available to a driver they rarely go for the 100% logical decision.
To that end, let’s get the range question out of the way. We never saw more than 114 miles range indicated and we drove the car in warm weather. But if you only charge at home and simply use the car for local runs (why would you buy a city car if you do 20,000 miles a year?) then the range will be plenty.
What you do get plenty of is screen time, or more precisely screen width. The double infotainment screens and digital dash run the width of the car and dominate the interior. Add in the two screens that replace the door mirrors and it’s even more impressive. The screens are customisable (showing everything from power delivery and satnav to radio or virtual fish tank) and slightly complicated to grasp quickly, but they are very clear.
Despite the small exterior dimensions, there’s just about enough room for four adults. The only compromise for taller drivers it that position of the centre console can mean your left knee rests uncomfortably on its corner.
Honda offers one-pedal driving in the E which is judged just right, perhaps not as aggressively regenerative as some EVs, but all the more smooth for it.
The rear-drive E Advance is relatively rapid too. Zero to 62mph come up in 8.3 seconds, but the instant shove of an electric motor makes it feel quicker. The standard E records a 0-62mph time of 9.0 seconds.
While its natural home isn’t the motorway, the E is a remarkably settled car, feeling quite at home at higher speeds. In fact the overall comfort and handling of the car has been very well set up. It’s fun without being jarring, which is just what you want in a car that looks this cool.
FleetandLeasing.com Verdict On The Honda E
Take range out of the equation (many user-choosers only need to travel locally) and the Honda E is a mightily good, small car that’s a joy to see and use.
- Model: E Advance
- Power: 154 hp
- Torque: 315Nm
- Max speed: 90mph
- 0-62mph: 8.3 s
- Official range: 137 miles
- Test range: 114 miles
- CO2 emissions: 0g/km
- BIK tax band 2022/23: 2%