Performance & Range v. Battery Size 30kWh

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Post by advance2020 »

When Honda first launched their Concept for the Honda e, I think it is fair to say it created a lot of excitement, both in the media, and with potential customers. When we finally caught sight of the Honda e Prototype, there was some disappoint that it was now a 5 door rather than 3 door hatch, and the styling had been toned down to a less muscular looking beast.



However that was soon history, as the videos emerged from those lucky enough to get behind the wheel. This City Car was fun to drive and seemed to deliver most of what was promised. And ok there was a lot of focus on the widescreen dash and the door camera ‘mirrors’.

Honda designers in Japan were bold. They launched a compact City Car with a small battery, and hence limited range, while the European majors were developing larger, and perhaps more premium EVs. Perhaps well aware that the competitor to try and rival was Tesla. And now we see the market saturated with “me too” SUVs models aimed at the 2+2 family, and yet no-one gets anywhere near the performance v. efficiency of Teslas. It is no coincidence that sales of EVs consistently show that Elon Musk is on the money, and prices are now very competitive.

5 years on, and more than 4 years since I paid my £800 reservation fee, I’m looking back at those early days. Do I regret taking the plunge to Full Electric? No. I fell in love with the ‘“e” and had to have one. Definitely a Heart over Head decision.

Yes, for me it was a bold and expensive decision. At the time I was driving a very compact Toyota iQ which although small and quirky, it met my needs. I just wanted an electric one, that was not to be. Its small 1.3 4-cylinder petrol engine could push it along quite nicely, because it was relatively light and responsive.

So onto to the topics of my title.

Does the Honda e have enough power and torque to make it fun to drive?
Did my assumption that 150bhp would be enough, given that the All Up Weight is a little greater than some its converted ICE rivals, prove to be correct?
Yes, I think so. It is certainly “quick enough” off the mark at the lights, and seems to respond nicely, if I decide to overtake someone travelling at 40-50 mph. Does it run out of steam at higher speeds, yes a little, but on dual carriageways/Motorways that is of less concern. Does it still make me smile when approaching a steep incline, which it climbs with little to no effort. Yes, it does. So yes, in general the performance is better than I had hoped, and certainly ‘adequate’ to keep me happy.

So this is the Big One. Remember all those reviews. It was just a City Car. Not designed for long distance journeys. For that you need a Tesla. And if you live in the USA, or planing a tour of Europe, a Honda e is not going to be for you. As I said earlier, Honda were bold to choose a small 35kWh battery for the ‘e’. Mazda tried to sell a model with a small battery and gave up. And I despair of amount I have read about 200 mile being a minimium and how we will see EVs with 600 to 1000 mile range. As you will know there are only 2 factors that determine the range you need. Can you recharge easily at home or work, and how far do you normally drive every day. For me my daily use can be 25-40 miles, sometimes less, and on a longer day out perhaps 60+ The number of times that I have had to travel up to, or over 100 miles has been very rarely. Perhaps 8 times in over 3 years. And this is much the same for the number of times my SoC has dropped below 15% and I have seen a warning light on the dash.

So range is clearly not an issue for me. In fact it is so easy to plug into a PodPoint wherever I go, I most often recharge at Tesco or Lidl, even though it’s not essential. It’s free to park, so why not. And having a small battery means it does take that long before my battery is back up to 80% or more.

My big disappointment is that Honda UK failed dismally to promote the Honda e and continue to plug their hybrids. So much for Driving the Future, they just keep flogging the Jazz.
There are now some compact EVs but the choice is still limited. The Mini and the Fiat are smaller inside, and still converted ICE models despite the various uplifts. When Stellantis finally launch the Renault 5 e people might get exicted again. The Chinese have brought us the quirly Fun Cat, and the Citroen AMI is another bold innovation. And we await the ID2 which could prove popular. But we are now 5 years on.

As a Footnote I read today that the ASA have ruled than Nissan e-Power TV ad must be withdrawn, until they are honest that it is Fossil Fuel powered, not Electric.
So some Good News to lighten the mood.
Platinum White Pearl: e-driving green at last, on R17 Michelin Pilot Sport
AVG economy and Predicted Mileage has increased lately, not sure why.

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Post by hondaero »


i can state it for local market:
- it created excitement in the market however only initially -> all local reviews mentioned the limited range and set wrong direction;
- the race for more miles -> still the 1st benchmark when most people buy EVs;
- limited support here -> e.g. no connected services, limited functionalities in the car.

i start wondering if us - as Honda e owners - are NOT getting it -> maybe we need to understand we're just a minority.
... and this impacts us at the end in terms of support and further developments which is sad.

2023 Honda e Red Advance on 16" Michelin 195/55 & 205/55 tyres.
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Post by upsilon »

Small battery is the correct decision imo.

For the primary reason of pushing EV over ICE, what's the point of carrying a heavier dead load and waste the very energy which we are trying to conserve?
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Post by advance2020 »

upsilon wrote: Wed Oct 18, 2023 1:21 pm Small battery is the correct decision imo.

For the primary reason of pushing EV over ICE, what's the point of carrying a heavier dead load and waste the very energy which we are trying to conserve?
I hope you are right, and that in the future we will see some ‘disruptive innovators’ bring small, compact, BEVs to market for mass adoption, esp. for Daily commuting i.e. bigger than a Citroen AMI and much more affordable than the Honda e. Even if and when battery technologies improve, they will no doubt still be an expensive component, and continue to be dense/heavy. Cars in general have grown in size and weight over my lifetime, and many have more powerful engines than most of us actually need. Lighter, more efficient cars that are green and safe is what the world needs. People feel safer in there taller, bigger, heavier machines, but it’s an illusion. Their extra weight is their downfall in a collision, with other vehicles, but esp. with pedestrians, cyclists etc. Imagine urban areas where electric semi-autonomous vehicles are travelling at controlled speeds to make commuting safer and less stressful for all.
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AVG economy and Predicted Mileage has increased lately, not sure why.
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Post by EEEE »

The performance for me is an odd one. Too much torque, not enough power. Yes you can accelerate to 30-40mph quicker than most, but after that it feels slow. I'd rather they slowed it down by flattening off the torque at low speeds, so the drop off wasn't as notable. The drive is not exciting, The weight is noticeable. I'm not a big fan of overtaking in it because there is a bit of variation to the oomph dependant on battery temperature and state of charge.

I think it will be hard to get the petrol head out of me - nothing beats hitting the redline in a high revving Honda of yesteryear , even if it is slower over the 1/4mile. Gear changes, noise etc, they all have their place. I drove a modified Honda S660 last year and it was an absolute riot, thoroughly enjoyable even without going fast.

I'm not saying one is better than another, horses for courses. The e is for short commutes, but I wouldn't say I 'enjoy' the drive through back roads. On the rare occasion I take the prelude to work, it's a different story! However the e is comfortable and quiet and is preparing me for my 40s.

It'd be nice if it could go further, but it'd make the car slower and heavier. Many a time I have to leave the e at home because it just cannot do some days/weekends due to too many miles/passengers/luggage/time constraints etc.
'21 e Advance - Charge Yellow - E1702RR alloys
'17 Civic Sport CVT
'00 Prelude 2.2VTi
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Post by Swiss Navy Commander »

On a warm day driving around town with just me, and judicial use of air conditioning I can get 4.6-4.8 miles per kWh - so indeed I can get very close to the stated range of 139 miles

On a cold day bombing along the A1 (M) heating on it drops to around 2.6-2.8 miles per kWh - so around 75–80 miles and it rapidly drops off once you hit 80mph+ (so I am reliably informed :lol: )

As my journeys are inevitable the same , I know where the fast chargers are and the mental maths to work out my journey is very straight forward

It is a city car but you can reach the next city and back if you spend the time establishing where to charge - which is getting easier as they are springing up regularly )

I really enjoy driving it
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