Honda's Rad Retro EV: EV-erything You Need to Know

Maximum range, battery capacity, and more are announced for the Honda E.

The Honda E is adorable, electric, and now it has details. Previously, we'd seen the car at the 2019 Geneva auto show, where it was shown in near-production prototype form and short on specifics. With the production model's arrival—it landed at this fall's Frankfurt Motor Show—we can finally share particulars about this peculiar little EV.

While the E is a little less funky than the original Urban EV concept it was inspired by, one that we named our 2018 Concept of the Year, it retains most of that car's best features. Chief among those beloved carry-over bits is the Urban EV's wide-eyed, cherubic face. The production Honda E has large, circular headlights that, along with its lunchbox-like overall body shape, give it a welcoming, friendly vibe. Inside, the look is retro-futuristic—and absolutely fantastic—thanks to a minimalist theme punctuated by a thin-rimmed, two-spoke steering wheel, matte wood-esque trim, and two 12.3-inch touchscreens spanning the dashboard.

The Honda E's mechanicals are less likely to draw a rise out of anybody than its styling, although the little hatchback is rear-wheel-drive. Its 134-hp electric motor (a 151-hp version is available) and water-cooled 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack are roughly equivalent in specification to those fitted to Nissan's standard Leaf EV (148 horsepower, 40 kWh), Honda claims the E is about as quick to 60 mph as the Nissan, which is capable of reaching 60 mph in about 8.0 seconds.

Driving range, a metric of utmost importance to most electric-vehicle buyers, is estimated to be about 136 miles per charge. The process of plugging the Honda E in will even be slightly fun, thanks to its charge port being located behind a cute door on the front of the hood. Hook up to a CCS2 DC fast charger, and the E's battery can be juiced to 80 percent of its capacity in just 30 minutes. Using a Type 2 AC connection will result in slower charge times, and holding your breath for the Honda E to arrive in the U.S. will result in your passing out—so don't try. Indeed, Honda won't say whether the E will ever make it to the U.S., but for now, it definitely isn't. Too bad.

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