Honda, the automotive titan, which initially lagged in the electric car race, is gearing up for an electrifying future with the e:Ny1. It’s quite a revelation that the e:Ny1 is only Honda’s second all-electric model to hit Europe. Despite being a major player in the global car industry, with 3.8 million cars produced in 2022, Honda’s first foray into EVs, the Honda e, was a unique but commercially unsuccessful gem.
In retrospect, the diminutive e had its share of drawbacks, primarily its limited range, which didn’t quite justify its price tag. Nevertheless, it served as a proof of concept, showcasing Honda’s design prowess. Although the e won’t see a second generation, its cult status is practically guaranteed.
Honda is a powerhouse, boasting a diverse product range, from cars and motorcycles to outboard motors, ATVs, robots, and private jets. Yet, their gradual entry into electrification remains puzzling. The company remains steadfast in its commitment to hydrogen fuel cells, a technology it’s been pursuing for a quarter of a century without a compelling commercial case.
e:Ny1: Honda’s EV for the Masses
In contrast, a Honda EV for the masses should be a surefire success. The e:Ny1, Honda’s latest offering, enters the popular compact electric SUV market with a touch of innovation. It features a smooth, non-intimidating design, both inside and out.
Inside, a large central screen is divided into three sections for entertainment, navigation, and climate control. The switchgear, materials, and storage compartments may feel a bit scattered, but the overall quality is robust and functional. Piped faux leather seats add a touch of elegance, and the folding rear seats enhance practicality.
The e:Ny1 presents a visually clean and welcoming design. Honda tends to avoid aggressive or flashy styling, opting for a more friendly and approachable appearance. The rear end slopes gracefully, reducing visual bulk while sacrificing some practicality. It culminates in a clean rear adorned with the word ‘Honda,’ replacing the badge for brand recognition.
Upfront, the traditional grille has been replaced with a charging hatch. The long hood conceals the 68.8kWh battery, providing a respectable maximum range of 400 km. The e:Ny1 offers Eco, Normal, and Sport modes for a balanced ride and spirited acceleration.
Honda acknowledges that the e:Ny1 is geared toward first-time EV buyers who may be a bit hesitant about the electric vehicle world. To ease their concerns, Honda offers generous servicing and warranty options, along with an ‘intelligent charging’ system that optimizes home charging for cost-efficiency and environmental friendliness.
In the France, the EV market is growing rapidly, up 25 percent year-on-year. Honda also unveiled the latest version of its CR-V, the seventh generation, a car that has evolved since 1995 as the company’s very first SUV. Designed to tackle both LA freeways and the country lanes of Kent, the CR-V has always been more about functionality than aesthetics.
In a French market crossovers and SUVs reached a significant sales milestone in the first six months of 2023 as they represent, for the first time, more than half of total new vehicle deliveries in Europe. Their market share increased to 51%, which is a small (but significant) increase from the first half of 2022, when it was 48%. Until electrification is more widespread and battery sizes shrink, smaller SUVs like the Honda e:Ny1 will continue to dominate the road, despite their increasing size.
Honda CR-V starts at €52.634, rising to €61.923 for the Advance Tech PHEV model
Honda e:Ny1, priced at €51.602 for the simplest Elegance spec and €54.125 for the Advance model