Honda introduces new compact electric vehicle
Honda has announced a new compact electric vehicle (EV), the Honda e. This the first Honda to be built on a dedicated EV platform, and the company says it was designed from the ground up to "deliver excellent driving dynamics."
The e platform was developed with a focus on urban environments. The battery is positioned at a low level under the floor, and centrally within the wheelbase of the car, affording a 50:50 weight distribution and a low center of gravity for optimal handling and stability. Power from the high-torque electric motor is delivered through the rear wheels, enabling steering precision even at high acceleration.
The platform is designed to offer a combination of ride comfort and agility. The four-wheel independent suspension is engineered to offer stability in all conditions while providing a smooth ride and responsive handling. Elements of the suspension components are forged aluminum to reduce weight and to enhance performance and efficiency.
For continued ease of use and charging flexibility, the 35.5 kWh lithium-ion high-capacity battery can be charged using either Type 2 AC connection or a CCS2 DC rapid charger. Combined with a full range of more than 200 km (124 mi), the fast-charge capability of the powertrain is expected deliver exceptional usability to meet the demands of everyday commuting, providing 80% charge in 30 minutes.
The Honda e charging port is integrated into the hood, with LED lighting visible through a glass panel to illuminate the port for the driver and highlight the battery charging status. The positioning of the charging port allows easy access from the front of the car or from either side. 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 the regeneration and recharging status.
The battery pack is water cooled to maintain an optimum thermal state and to maximize the efficiency of the battery and charge state, while also ensuring that its size and weight are minimized so that it does not compromise cabin room.
Presented in prototype form at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the Honda e will debut in European markets later this year.