The automotive industry is changing faster than at any time in its history, with a convergence of trends and developments shaping the face of the sector beyond all recognition. Honda predict that by 2030 the development of automobiles will be centred around electrification, automation and services. Environmental issues, such as climate change, are driving demand for cleaner mobility and accelerating the electrification of automobiles.
Honda recognises that technology is developing at a rapid pace with the emergence of autonomous and artificial technologies and as such the relationship between customers and their cars is evolving. Customers are seeking increased connectivity between their car and their everyday electronic devices, and in turn the outside world. This human-centric approach to the automotive industry sees customers treating mobility as a service that they access, rather than a product that they own.
The compact, fully-electric Honda e is inspired by Honda’s 2030 prediction, and its desire to improve the environment, particularly in busy urban areas. Engineered from the ground up to deliver a package perfect for the modern urban environment, the all-new Honda e is the ultimate creation based on the brand’s philosophy of human-centred engineering.
The Honda e first appeared in concept form in 2017 as the ‘Urban EV’. This was followed by the near-production ready Honda e Prototype, which received international acclaim at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The production-ready car was given its full global premiere at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The compact EV features cutting-edge technology and advanced intelligent connectivity to keep owners in sync with everyday life. The Honda e sets new technology benchmarks in the compact EV segment, with intuitive infotainment services and connected apps that seamlessly integrate with the owner’s modern lifestyle, accessed via the dual touchscreen displays, Honda Personal Assistant artificial intelligence or via the My Honda+ smartphone app.
The Honda Personal Assistant (HPA) integrated artificial intelligence agent develops a greater understanding of an individual’s voice over time, helping it to deliver more accurate responses and connecting car and driver to modern life with ease. Advanced technology designed to simplify the driver’s experience includes digital key, which enables secure access to the car via a smartphone, and the seamless entry system that ensures the Honda e is unlocked, connected and ready to go whenever the driver approaches the car.
Designed without compromise and with a focus on functionality and usability, the Honda e features a seamless, sleek and modern appearance. From the signature front and rear LED light combinations and stylish glass charging port cover, to the clean lines and flush features that optimise aerodynamic efficiency and refinement, the Honda e reimagines the identity of a small Honda for the next era of urban mobility.
Emphasising this exacting design philosophy is the Side Camera Mirror System (SCMS) that replaces conventional side view mirrors, with compact cameras that provide live images to two six-inch screens inside the vehicle. The camera technology, a first in the compact segment, brings significant benefits for safety, aerodynamics and packaging.
Complementing the simple and clean exterior styling, the interior uses subtle, contemporary materials to create a relaxing lounge-like ambience that immediately insulates occupants from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The generous wheelbase allows passenger space comparable with that of cars in the segment above, with step-through access contributing to the spacious interior environment.
The Honda e provides the most comprehensive range of driver aids in its class, for ultimate safety when navigating busy streets. An enhanced suite of safety features sees the addition of three new safety technologies to the Honda e including Collision Mitigation Throttle Control, preventing sudden acceleration in either reverse or drive upon starting the car when there is an obstacle in the way; Low Speed Brake Function which applies emergency braking while driving at low speed, and Lead Car Departure Notification System which notifies the driver when the car in front has started moving.
Another new feature is Honda Parking Pilot which provides further driver support by monitoring for parking spaces and highlighting on the HMI screens a suitable position to begin assisted parking.
The all-new EV-specific platform has been engineered to deliver fun and effortless electric performance with exceptional driving characteristics in urban environments. A powerful electric motor, compact proportions, 4.3m turning radius, 50:50 weight distribution and low centre of gravity all combine to give the car a sporty and dynamic character. The result is a quiet, smooth and rewarding drive with instant acceleration to help navigate busy streets with ease. As well as Single Pedal Control, the Honda e also has two drive modes; Normal, for a quiet refined drive around town and Sport, for increased responsiveness.
The Honda e is available in two grades – Honda e provides a 222 km range (WLTP), along with a comprehensive standard specification. Honda e Advance features a choice of 16″ or 17″ alloy wheels, an increased motor output and a Centre Camera Mirror System which can be switched on to relay the image from a central rear-facing camera to the rear-view mirror display. Other upgrades include a more powerful audio system, heated windscreen and steering wheel, and the smart Honda Parking Pilot driver aid.
The advanced electric drivetrain employs proven Honda electrification technologies, with fast-charge capability to meet the demands of everyday commuting. The high-capacity 35.5 kWh battery provides a range of 222 km (WLTP), with 80% of charge added in just 30 minutes of rapid charging. A unique thermal management system optimises battery range in high and low temperatures, allowing the car to maintain optimal range capability and enabling more frequent rapid DC charges.
Honda e spearheads the brand’s ‘Electric Vision’ strategy for the European region, representing a commitment to a more sustainable model range. The bold ambition will see all of Honda’s mainstream models in Europe electrified by 2022, three years ahead of the previously announced 2025 goal, demonstrating the confidence Honda has in its proven electric and hybrid powertrain technology.
This acceleration will see six electrified models launched over the next 36 months, including the Honda e, all-new hybrid-only Jazz, a stylish SUV and an additional battery electric vehicle. Honda’s new ‘e: Technology’ branding will unify all its electrified products under the same global name. Ahead of its European 2022 electrification goal, Honda will expand the application of its e:HEV dual-motor hybrid system to the entire line-up of Honda vehicles in Europe, starting with the next-generation Jazz, available from summer 2020.
Honda’s vision for sustainable future energy supply incorporates urban charging solutions, domestic power chargers, and commercial energy services. The Honda Power Charger is Honda’s new domestic charging solution. As well as providing fast reliable domestic charging, it will connect seamlessly with electrified Honda vehicles and keep owners connected remotely via their smartphone.
Distinctive, contemporary exterior design with clean lines and smooth surfaces
Honda e features a simplicity of design that reimagines the character and aesthetic of a small Honda, while subtly reflecting the DNA of its forebearers. Designed without compromise, with a focus on functionality and ease of use, the result is a simple, clean exterior with a unique style.
Beautiful contours extend from the bonnet to the panoramic windscreen and stepless A-pillars that sit virtually flush with the glass, creating a frameless window appearance that accentuates the modern, clean flanks of the body. The positioning of the compact side-cameras eliminates the need for channel lines to divert air flow and rainwater away from the side of the car, reducing the usual step from pillars to neighbouring glass.
The uncluttered profile is facilitated by the flush door handles that extend from the side of the car as the driver approaches with the key fob or activates the digital key through the My Honda+ smartphone application. Flush rear-door handle ‘paddles’ are integrated into the C-pillar, to maintain the smooth exterior surfacing. Both the pop-out door handles and Side Camera Mirror System (SCMS – see Section 5 for more information) are unique features for a vehicle in this class. Continuing the aerodynamic uncluttered design approach, the radio, GPS and mobile data antennae are integrated into the top edge of the rear window.
Black panels with unique concave profiles – located at the front and rear between the lights – are defining design motifs of Honda e. Exacting attention to detail is evident in the round light clusters which enhance the overall simple, clean design and help define the ‘human face’ of the car. The circular lamp design – a modern interpretation of classic lamp styles – again combines pleasing aesthetics with functionality. A unique three-in-one lamp combination at the front incorporates a daytime running-light ring, turn indicator ring and high beam projector in the centre.
With 12 individual LEDs per ring, multiple lighting functions are achievable, such as a lighting sequence that welcomes the driver upon approach to the car. An identical signature combination lamp at the rear provides continuity in design, with the tail lamp, brake light and turn indicator integrated in a single unit.
Reinforcing the function-led design approach, the car’s advanced charging port is integrated centrally in the bonnet for ease of use from either side of the car. The lid is made of high-strength glass, exuding quality and beauty. Operated via the key fob or My Honda+ app, the port is carefully designed for smooth opening and optimised for everyday convenience. LED lighting visible through the sleek cover welcomes the driver upon approach to the car, and communicates by illuminating blue when charging, or red if the charging system detects an error.
Beneath the skin is an all-new, EV-specific platform that allows for compact proportions. The appearance of a low, muscular stance – emphasised by the flared wheel arches that accommodate the wide wheels and tyres – lends a sporty dynamic accent to the simple, clean exterior design.
The 16-inch alloy wheel design for the entry-level Honda e is lightweight and simple in style, with a large centre cap to cover the wheel nuts, as well as lean straight spokes. The 17-inch option for the Honda e Advance adds unique two-tone characteristics, with specially designed covers to hide the brake disk and callipers from view, further enhancing the clean appearance of the car.
Modern interior design with a simple, minimalist aesthetic and quality materials creating a lounge-like experience
Complementing the simple and clean exterior is a cabin that features subtle, contemporary materials, creating a relaxing and modern-feeling space. The generous wheelbase allows passenger space comparable with that of cars in the segment above, with step-through access contributing to an airy environment.
The horizontal lines of the full-width LCD touchscreens (see section 5 for more information) enhance the sense of spaciousness, with effortless visibility provided through the horizontal, wide panoramic windscreen. Furthermore, the wiper blade is hidden from view to ensure there is no visual obstruction.
The lounge-like feel of the comfort-oriented four-seat interior is enhanced further by the application of quality melange-style sofa fabric and other tactile materials in relaxing, contemporary hues. The synthetic wood effect trim has a warm, welcoming, premium appearance and a pleasingly tactile ‘grain’.
Convenient cabin features using advanced technology make the Honda e easy to use every day. Adding to the wealth of driver-aiding screens, the Centre Camera Mirror System can be switched on to relay the image from a central rear-facing camera to the rear-view mirror display, enhancing safety and comfort, particularly if the driver’s rear field of vision is obscured by passengers or cargo. The feature is included as standard with the Honda e Advance grade.
The two-spoke steering wheel continues the theme of converging minimalist simplicity and functionality. Gloss black accents surround the audio and voice recognition control buttons, meter panel information control on the left spoke, and the cruise control interface on the right.
In addition to Bluetooth connectivity, multiple connection inputs are provided beneath the centre console for easy charging and connection of devices. This includes HDMI, 12V power and 230V (1500W max) AC power outlet (UK Type G for right-hand drive cars and European Type F for left-hand drive cars). There are also two USB ports for front occupants, and a further two in the rear.
An adjustable centre console provides versatile storage, located below the charging and connectivity sockets for ease of access. The flexible storage unit integrates a slide-out cup holder and a smartphone storage tray which can be placed in forward or rearward positions – or stowed neatly. The storage section includes removeable partitions so the space can be tailored for items large or small.
The centre console storage pouch uses the same fabric as the seats and door panels, for continuity of the contemporary design. The front door bins have a moulded circular section to accommodate larger water bottles, while the rear door storage sections are sized to hold a standard drinks bottle or drinks can.
The wide rear bench provides high-quality sofa-like seating, adding further to the ambience of a modern living space. Ceiling spot lamps above the occupants’ heads and out of direct eyesight contribute further to the comfortable and sophisticated feel, like you are switching on your living room light, and are activated by a button on the B-pillar.
The boot incorporates the high level of versatility that people expect from a Honda, with a maximum capacity of 171 litres (VDA method) with the rear seats up, and no lip for easy loading. The rear seats conveniently fold flat to the same level as the boot floor to allow a maximum load capacity of 861 litres (to the roof, VDA method).
Exceptional dynamic performance, with a responsive rear-wheel drive powertrain perfect for urban commuting
The first Honda to be built on a dedicated EV platform has been designed from the ground up to provide exceptional handling, agility and ride comfort in urban environments. With a sporty rear-wheel drive set up and high-performance motor, the Honda e delivers fun-to-drive dynamic characteristics and usability unrivalled in the compact electric car segment.
Engineered for dynamic performance
Honda engineers paid special attention to enhancing the chassis to deliver an engaging experience behind the wheel. For its overall length of 3,895mm, the car is relatively wide, measuring 1,750mm across, with short overhangs at the front and rear providing an assured stance. With the battery located low under the vehicle floor, the car’s centre of gravity is 500mm from the ground, combining with 50:50 weight distribution in both ways to ensure a rewarding blend of assured stability and agile handling.
To help deliver sporty character with effortless performance, power is delivered through the rear wheels. Driving dynamics are boosted by Honda’s Variable Gear Ratio (VGR) active steering system, with steering wheel lock to lock in 3.1 turns. VGR works by changing gear ratio with respect to the steering angles absolute value. At cruising or high speeds, the assisted steering system provides confident lane changes and improved driving safety. This, along with the narrow subframe, small EV platform and compact components, also enables a turning radius of just 4.3m, ensuring the Honda e is exceptionally manoeuvrable in small city streets.
The short distance between roll centre height and centre of gravity height of the Honda e allows the small body roll to be managed while maintaining a low spring rate that delivers outstanding handling and ride characteristics. Honda engineers benchmarked the ride quality of the car against larger segment cars, utilising a four-wheel independent MacPherson strut design with forged aluminium components to ensure stability under hard acceleration, as well as a comfortable and refined ride for occupants.
The electric servo brake system on all four wheels ensures a consistent braking feel and good cooperation with the regenerative brake system. The 15-inch brake discs are ventilated at the front, to improve performance. The 16-inch wheels for the entry-level Honda e grade are shod with Yokohama BlueEarth A tyres, for optimum balance between high performance and efficiency. The 17-inch design for the Honda e Advance level adds Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, for additional high-speed stability and cornering grip.
Single Pedal Control System and Drive Mode
The Honda e also offers Single Pedal Control System to improve driving efficiency in urban environments. When activated, the system enables the driver to seamlessly accelerate, slow and stop the car using only the accelerator pedal.
The Single Pedal Control System has been introduced to extend the fun and comfort of driving in urban environments. The linear deceleration control that this technology offers gives the car a more agile response, resulting in a more engaging drive. By decreasing in frequency the need to use both accelerator and brake pedals, it helps the driver feel more comfortable in stop/start congested city traffic.
The Single Pedal Control System also provides enhanced vehicle stability, particularly during deceleration, giving the driver more control and smoother progress through corners and in snowy conditions.
The car’s highly responsive acceleration is calibrated for optimal efficiency and refinement, but can also be adjusted by the driver to suit personal preferences. A steering wheel paddle-activated deceleration mode selector can configure the single-pedal braking characteristics to adjust the strength of deceleration, providing maximum control.
In both grades the driver can select from two Drive Mode options via a rocker switch situated in the centre console. ‘Normal Mode’ provides easy-to-control, smooth acceleration; whilst ‘Sport Mode’ offers a quicker response and stronger acceleration. These two modes give the driver a selectable option to suit their driving style and the driving conditions to enhance their enjoyment.
High performance electric powertrain
The Honda e is powered by proven Honda electric powertrain technologies. The high performance electric motor provides outstanding torque feel, yet is one of the most compact in its class. The Honda e Advance grade model delivers up to 154 PS (113kW) and impressive torque of 315Nm – sufficient to propel the car from standstill to 100km/h in 8.3 seconds. The 136 PS (100kW) entry-level Honda e, featuring the same torque output, accelerates to 100km/h in 9.0 seconds.
The 35.5 kWh Lithium-ion high-capacity battery contributes to an exceptional balance of low weight, fast-charging capability of 80% in 30 minutes, and a range of up to 222 km (WLTP) in the entry level Honda e. The Honda e Advance grade with the 17-inch wheel option achieves a range of up to 210 km (WLTP).
Lightweight, high-strength platform
High-strength materials used in the Honda e’s body structure contribute to structural rigidity, while also reducing weight and improving ride comfort and refinement. The lightweight chassis provides the ideal platform from which to fine tune suspension and steering settings for a dynamic driving experience. A focus on safety is apparent in the inclusion of three protective ribs along each side of the chassis to protect the battery from side impact, and a pop-up hood to improve pedestrian protection.
Honda Parking Pilot
Providing additional support to drivers is the Honda Parking Pilot, which continues the theme of user-focused technology. The Honda Parking Pilot assists the driver in locating an appropriate space and then manoeuvring the car efficiently into it. It does this through the use of four cameras and 12 sonar sensors. A multi-view camera detects the white line of a parking spot, while the sensors recognise the actual parking space.
When the driver presses the button on the dashboard, Honda Parking Pilot starts searching for an available parking space, and when found, a parking frame is displayed on the driver display screen. The driver selects the desired frame and presses the Honda Parking Pilot button again. The driver can park the vehicle in the selected parking space without operating the steering wheel, changing shift or needing to apply the accelerator or brake.
Honda Parking Pilot can park in parallel spaces, bays or diagonally if the space is marked with a white line. Even if there is no white line, parallel and bay parking is possible if enough space is determined for the vehicle to fit. In Europe, where parallel parking is often preferred, the Honda e also has a function to assist the driver with manoeuvring back out of the space.
Honda Parking Pilot, available on the Honda e Advance grade, can operate five parking patterns – parallel parking and reverse bay parking with and without lines and angled parking with lines, for complete driver support in all parking scenarios.
Advanced high-performance battery with rapid charging
The Honda e launches with a ‘fast-charge’ functionality that can provide up to 80% of range in just 30 minutes, using a CCS2 DC rapid charger. Combined with an outstanding full range of 222 km (WLTP), the fast-charge capability of the advanced powertrain will deliver exceptional usability to meet the demands of everyday commuting.
For complete charging flexibility, the reliable 35.5 kWh Lithium-ion high-capacity battery can be charged using either a CCS2 DC rapid charger or Type 2 AC connection. The latter charges the car to full in 4.1 hours, with a 7.4 kW supply.
Designed with a focus on simplicity and usability, the Honda e charging port is integrated in the bonnet. Positioned centrally, access is gained easily from the front of the car or from each side, using either the key fob or My Honda+ app to open the port. LED lighting is visible through the glass panel to illuminate the port for the driver and highlight the battery charge status.
Displays on the dual touchscreens inside the car present the current level of battery charge, while a drivetrain graphic charts the current power flow and regeneration and recharging status. All battery status and charging data can also be accessed via the My Honda+ app, where users can also start and stop charging remotely, or set weekly charging schedules and send them to the car.
The battery pack is water cooled and heated to maintain an optimum thermal state.
To boost battery efficiency Honda engineers developed a thermal management system that heats or cools the battery according to the ambient temperature, to allow the car to maintain optimal range capability in extremes of hot and cold weather. Active cooling also enables more frequent rapid DC charges.
Honda Energy Management
Honda’s vision for a sustainable future energy supply incorporates a range of products and services to offer a comprehensive solution for EV customers and service operators. This incorporates urban charging solutions, domestic power chargers, commercial energy services and in the future, vehicle to grid (V2G) technology.
Honda confirmed at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show that it will bring to market its first commercial energy services during 2020 to align with the launch of the Honda e. The UK and Germany are targeted as the first countries for a commercial launch, with further European markets set to follow. The services will include the introduction of the Honda Power Charger and a flexible energy tariff.
Honda Power Charger
The Honda Power Charger domestic charge point will connect seamlessly with electrified Honda vehicles and keep owners connected remotely via their smartphone.
The system consists of a 7.4 kW charging unit that can be wall or pedestal mounted Using a Type 2 AC connection Honda e owners will be able to charge to 100% capacity in 4.1 hours (from appearance of low battery notification on dashboard), assuming a 32-amp supply.
Vattenfall, a leading European renewable energy supplier, will oversee the installation of Honda Power Charger domestic charge points, through preferred contractors in both the UK and Germany, with installation solutions for other markets to be announced in due course.
Urban charging solutions with ubitricity
Honda’s vision for city charging, where access to home or business charge points is limited, is presented in a lamp post charging solution. This technology allows the installation of chargepoints within lamp posts, with a unique cable featuring a mobile metering device that allows charging cost to be linked to the customer’s tariff to remove the need for subscription to several suppliers. Charge points installed by ubitricity are already being successfully trialled in London and Berlin, with further installations planned for in the future.
Honda Power Manager Prototype
Honda Power Manager Prototype previews a bidirectional system that connects electric vehicles to a smart power grid. This vehicle-to-grid technology enables the collection and distribution of electricity between EVs and the grid to intelligently balance demand and supply of energy and make better use of renewable sources.
The development of these charging functions will integrate electric vehicles further with existing power networks, allowing energy stored in the vehicle battery to power the home, or to flow back into the energy grid during periods of high demand. The vehicle battery can then be replenished at a time when demand is lower, subject to limits defined by the user.
Honda has developed this technology with bi-directional charging specialists EVTEC.
Honda is partnering with Moixa, a UK-based smart energy management company, to enable the collection and distribution of electricity between the car and the grid, homes and businesses. Moixa’s GridShare technology aggregates the storage capacity of home batteries and EVs, to intelligently balance demand and efficient storage of energy.
While the EV is plugged in, the Power Manager system can help to stabilise the grid at times of either short or surplus supply, storing energy efficiently, releasing electricity back into the home or selling it to the power grid at times of high demand. It also represents a potential revenue opportunity for EV owners. For example, a user could charge cost-effectively during the night when load on the grid is lower, and then, if that energy is not required for driving, it can be accessed during peak times by the grid.
Using the smart system, Honda EV owners will be able to programme charging schedules remotely through their connected My Honda+ app, considering when the best tariffs are available, the potential energy source, and how much charging time is available before the car is required again.
The development of these charging functions will integrate electric vehicles further with existing power networks, while also enabling the possibility of ultra-rapid energy transfer to the vehicle. So-called V2X functions comprise vehicle-to-grid (V2G), vehicle-to-load (V2L), and vehicle-to-home (V2H) charging scenarios, all of which make use of the large amounts of energy that can be stored within electric vehicle batteries.
EV-specific electricity tariff
Honda is also collaborating with Vattenfall to provide the world’s first flexible electricity tariff specifically tailored for EV owners. Initially available in the UK and Germany, the energy tariffs will play a key role in the effectiveness of Honda’s Power Manager.
In a letter of intent, signed on 23 October 2019, the two companies confirmed their intentions to jointly develop and market a flexible electricity tariff that will allow EVs to be charged at the most cost-effective times, relative to grid demand. The tariffs – available to owners of any brand of electric vehicle – also promote the use of electricity generated through renewable sources including hydropower and wind farms, further realising Honda’s vision for a sustainable future energy supply.
User-focused HMI and advanced technology connects occupants to everyday life with ease
The Honda e is designed for effortless usability, incorporating a range of connected apps and AI-enabled services for both drivers and passengers. The intuitive HMI enables the Honda e to seamlessly integrate with the owner’s everyday life, elevating the car’s value beyond simply a means of transportation.
An 8.8-inch TFT meter instrument display in front of the driver presents key vehicle information, including power and charge status, drive mode selected and safety feature details. Drivers can personalise the quantity and layout of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) information that is displayed.
Optimised for safety and ease of use, physical buttons and dials are retained for the most commonly-used functions, including HVAC controls, with layout rationalised for quick operation. The Single Pedal Control button sits ahead of the Drive Mode rocker switch and the Electronic Parking Brake with Brake Hold behind it. The frequently used audio volume knob, audio ON / OFF switch, DA home and screen illuminance buttons are arranged on the wood grain panel within easy reach and are instantly recognisable.
Full-width digital dashboard
Positioned within the driver’s eyeline for optimal comfort and safety, five neatly integrated high-resolution colour screens span the entire width of the car’s interior, with the Side Camera Mirror System screens ergonomically placed at either end of the dashboard to ensure a natural feel and vision for the driver.
The largest area of the next-generation digital dashboard is occupied by dual 12.3-inch LCD touchscreens. These are the primary infotainment displays, giving access to a range of intelligent applications and services. This sophisticated interface is highly intuitive and customisable, with applications positioned side-by-side, and configured using familiar, intuitive smartphone-style pinch and swipe controls.
Both the front seat passenger and driver can easily access their favourite or most-used apps, configured using six digital presets flanking the screens. Users can also swipe through recently used applications in the app history display, which helps to avoid excessive menu navigation for easy multi-tasking and quick function location and activation.
Favourite apps or functions can also be easily exchanged between the two screens, either by flicking (fast swiping) them across from edge menu presets, or by swapping screens, via an option button displayed at all times on the HMI. This function also allows the passenger to swipe content such as navigation instructions into the driver’s eye line. With the dual screen set-up allowing two applications to be displayed side-by-side, the driver and front passenger can also independently select and view separate apps. For example, while the driver follows navigation instructions, the front passenger can scroll through the ‘Visual Playlist’ to locate their preferred music choices.
The comprehensive suite of in-built apps can be supplemented by seamless smartphone mirroring, via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. These systems enable users to view social media, music and other internet services on the dual touchscreens.
Backgrounds can be personalised, either through a range of built-in options or uploading user-generated content. The screens even provide a welcome message for the driver when they enter the car.
When the vehicle is parked – including when charging – occupants can access ‘My Room’ screen functions using the Honda e’s Wi-Fi hotspot, shifting the car beyond simply being a means of transport. Users can watch video content and access the internet on their own mobile devices or, to elevate the lounge-like experience further, recreate the classic ‘drive-in movie’ experience by accessing content streaming services via the HDMI input in the centre console.
At the heart of the immersive acoustics is the cinematic sound system, which provides a vivid, rich audio accompaniment. The Honda e comes with a six-speaker 180-watt sound system, while the Honda e Advance receives an upgraded 376-watt premium audio system, with an external amp, 75-watt subwoofer located under the rear seat, and 45-watt centre speaker added as one of eight speakers for additional sound depth.
Side Camera Mirror System
Honda’s advanced Side Camera Mirror System makes its debut on the Honda e, and is standard specification. The technology, a first in the compact segment, brings significant benefits for styling, safety, aerodynamics and refinement.
The Side Camera Mirror System replaces conventional side view mirrors with compact cameras providing live high definition images to two six-inch screens inside the vehicle. These screens are integrated at either end of the dashboard, ergonomically positioned to ensure a natural feel and vision for the driver.
The optimal positioning of the cameras delivers a host of safety advantages. The driver can choose between ‘normal view’ and ‘wide view’ via the vehicle settings, extending the field of vision further than with conventional side mirrors and reducing blind spots – by around 10% in normal view and approximately 50% in wide view. Further benefits are experienced when reverse gear is selected, guidelines appearing on the side view screens in addition to an enhanced camera angle, expanding visibility.
Brightness levels on the interior displays automatically adjust based on the prevailing light conditions. Extensive testing and development have been undertaken to ensure the Side Camera Mirror System delivers superior visibility in poor weather, low-light and night-time conditions with no dazzle or glare. This provides drivers with greater clarity and awareness of surrounding objects than conventional side view mirrors in all conditions.
The next-generation camera technology helps the car retain a modern, clean and simple design, and complements the stepless A-pillars and flush ‘pop out’ door handles. Unlike conventional side mirrors, the cameras are contained within the width of the car and do not extend beyond the wheel arches, allowing interior space to be maximised to the full width of the car.
Not only is visibility improved, the front projection area of the Side Camera Mirror System is reduced by around 90% compared to conventional door mirrors – an approximate 3.8% improvement for the entire vehicle that benefits the car’s efficiency and range. Furthermore, there is a significant reduction of wind noise which is normally generated by side mirrors at higher speeds.
The Side Camera Mirror System eliminates the need for channel lines to divert air flow and rainwater away from the side of the car. This enables the clean, stepless A-pillars that create the frameless window appearance and accentuate the modern clean bodysides.
The camera unit housings are shaped to prevent water drops on the lens, with a water-repellent coating on the lens surface to deter any residual water build up.
Advanced connectivity features seamlessly integrate the Honda e into modern lifestyles
Honda e features a host of intuitive and advanced connectivity features which set a new technology benchmark in the compact EV segment. Once inside, connected infotainment helps the car to seamlessly integrate with the most demanding urban lifestyle through sophisticated, easy-to-use technology.
Honda Personal Assistant for AI-powered connectivity
Connected services and applications accessed via the advanced touchscreen interface can also be activated using voice commands, through the Honda Personal Assistant. The intuitive Honda Personal Assistant is a smart artificial intelligence (AI) facility which uses natural, smart instruction-based conversations and contextual understanding to access a range of online services.
The unique Honda Personal Assistant is easily activated by saying: “OK Honda”, followed by the question or instruction. An abstract face animation accompanies the humanised response and visually acknowledges interactions.
Machine learning enables the technology to understand voices, helping it to deliver more accurate responses. Context recognition allows users to converse naturally, with the AI understanding the context of follow-up question and responses. It also enables real time search function, with context, to locate services that are available at specific times.
While waiting for a rapid charge to complete, driver and passengers can stream movies on the dual 12.3-inch LCD touchscreens using their preferred internet video streaming service via WiFi Hotspot.
My Honda+ application for remote access and smart charging
Away from the car, Honda e owners can enjoy the peace-of-mind of being able to stay connected to their vehicle remotely through the smartphone-based My Honda+ application. The service has been completely redeveloped with a greater focus on the user journey, with simple navigation to access charging functions, detailed vehicle status, climate control, security and location monitoring.
EV-specific functions include Remote Battery Charge Control, this enables users to start charging their vehicle remotely via My Honda+ application. Users also benefit from notification services which prompt users when charging is complete. The notification service will also alert users of any charging interruptions. Users can stop or start charging remotely, set charging schedules and receive notifications when scheduled activities happen.
Additional connected services allow drivers to set preferred cabin temperatures to three levels – colder, normal, warmer – and select further options for auto defrosting of front and rear glass. These functions can be scheduled in advance or can be selected as and when the owner wants to use them. When the AC or heater is on, a notification is provided when the battery reaches 15% of charge remaining, to ensure the battery is not drained by accident. With a remote climate control scheduler, the owner can heat or cool their car while it is still charging, thus saving battery charge for when driving.
Navigation search results can also be sent to the car from a mobile device, allowing journey planning to be completed away from the car.
Safety and security
The connected services provided include several security-focused features. Owners are alerted via the My Honda+ App if the car is moved outside of a set geofenced zone. It will also prompt for action to be taken if windows are left open or the car is unlocked, which can then be rectified remotely.
The application also provides a remote car finder service and journey history, enabling customers to look at journey times, distances travelled and average speed. It can even measure and score driving styles.
If a driver is unable to locate where their car is parked, the Car Locator function will enable them to see where the car is on the map – wherever they are in the world.
The Honda e can be accessed using a Digital Key, which enables the car to be locked and unlocked remotely using My Honda+ app via Bluetooth connection for iOS and Android smartphone users. Honda’s seamless entry function, Near Field Communication (NFC) allows Android smartphone users to lock and unlock their vehicle by tapping the My Honda+ app against the vehicle’s B-Pillar. When the customer does so, the lamp rings signal with a circular illumination motion, door handles pop out and the welcome entry system unlocks the car. When using an Android phone to touch the NFC unit on the dashboard and pressing on the ignition start button, the vehicle power system is active and ready to go. For iOS users to start the vehicle power system, a PIN code will appear on the vehicle dashboard, which must be entered into the phone along with pressing the Ignition start button (this feature is also available for Android smartphone users).
All of the above can be completed without the physical vehicle key, allowing owners to share access to the vehicle remotely via their smartphone. Digital Key provides additional functions and convenience for owners, with robust security protocols in place to protect owners, with extensive cyber security testing undertaken by Honda.
If there is no network connection, the Digital Key will still work via a Bluetooth connection within proximity of the car.
The Honda e can also be locked and unlocked remotely when out of Bluetooth range, via the My Honda+ app using an internet connection.
Expanded ‘Honda SENSING’ active safety technology
The Honda e provides the most comprehensive suite of advanced safety features and driver aids in its class. The scope of the brand’s exceptional Honda SENSING technology has been enhanced with the application of a new wider, higher-definition camera and radar set-up. This enables improved awareness of vehicle surroundings, including recognition of verges without kerbs or roadside markings.
Three new functions have been added to the Honda SENSING package for Europe:
- Lead Car Departure Notification System: notifies the driver when the car in front has started moving.
- Collision Mitigation Throttle Control: prevents sudden acceleration in either reverse or drive upon starting the car when there is an obstacle in the way.
- Low Speed Brake Function: applies emergency braking while driving or reversing at low speed.
Further functions in the Honda SENSING package include:
- Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS): assists with avoiding a collision with cars and pedestrians. This system has been improved with night-time operation to detect pedestrians and cyclists when there is no street lighting, and now applies the brakes when oncoming vehicles cut across or turn into the path of the car.
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC): allows the car to keep up and follow traffic at low speeds.
- Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS): applied on urban and rural roads – as well as multi-lane highways – to keep the vehicle in the middle of the lane, operating approximately between 72 km/h up to the vehicle’s maximum speed.
- Intelligent Speed Limiter (ISL): automatically controls vehicle speed at the speed preset by the driver or below the speed limit indicated on a traffic sign.
- Road Departure Mitigation System (RDMS): detects lane boundaries and assists the driver to not stray from their lane.
- Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR): prevents sudden acceleration due to inattention and calls the driver’s attention.
- Auto High-Beam Headlights: detects vehicles ahead and automatically switches between low and high beam.
In the event of an accident, the range of advanced connectivity services also includes Impact Alert and E-Call for roadside assistance in emergency situations.