Five Questions About the New Honda e Prototype Answered

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Honda e Prototype
Honda e Prototype at the Geneva Motor Show

Honda has everyone excited about electric cars with its e Prototype unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.


Don’t you just want a Honda e Prototype in your driveway? Retro-themed cars always do very well with the public and the e Prototype manages to combine retro and modern in ways few cars ever have. It just looks like the perfect urban EV and would likely do very well in Canada, California and Europe.


What is New About It?

Honda has been floating cute EV concepts for years, but this one is the most production ready. It keeps the general retro look of the Honda Urban EV concept unveiled in 2017, but you can tell the body panels on the e Prototype are much closer to what you need for mass production.

This thing could hit the market with very minimal changes. The most obvious would be replacing the camera mirrors with traditional side view mirrors.

On the other hand, few details were given in regard to the e Prototype’s powertrain which is slightly disappointing. Nevertheless, we do know a few things that are quite noteworthy.

For starters, the Honda e Prototype is rear-wheel drive. Yup, its electric engine sends its instant torque to the rear wheels which is both unique and odd. We are not quite sure what to think about that.

Honda e Prototype
Honda e Prototype at the Geneva Motor Show

On the one side an RWD EV the size of the Honda e Prototype would likely be an absolute blast to drive. On the other hand, winter practicality would be greatly reduced and many buyers who would be attracted to a car like this could not care less about the sportier driving dynamics of a rear-wheel drive car. We are not sure building it that way would work for a lot of consumers.

In any case, the Honda e Prototype is said to have 200 kilometers of range and will be able to recharge to 80 percent of its full capacity in just 30 minutes.


How Much Will it Cost?

We have no idea at this point, but it could be more expensive that we thought. In a recent interview with the design project leader for the e Prototype Ken Sahara, CarThrottle was told to expect “premium” pricing and that the e Prototype would be more expensive than a European Renault Zoe.

That puts at more than $30,000 at least which isn’t too surprising. It is the “Premium” part that is more difficult to decipher.

Does that put the Honda e Prototype in the BMW i3’s $45,000 to $50,000 range? More? This car looks like a perfect urban car for everyone, Honda should price accordingly.


When Will It Arrive on the Market?

Honda's new compact EV prototype Geneva 2019
Honda’s new compact EV prototype | Photo: Honda

Nothing is confirmed for Canada yet, but if the e Prototype does make it to production it won’t be before next year at the very earliest. In fact, we would be very surprised to see a fully electric Honda before 2021 in Canada.


Who Are Its Main Competitors?

That will depend on its price in the end, but its range pits the Honda e Prototype against the likes of the Volkswagen e-Golf and Hyundai IONIQ EV. It can’t compete with the Nissan LEAF nor can it even hope to reach the Chevrolet Bolt or Hyundai Kona EV range offerings.


What Do We Think About It?

Here’s the thing. It’s so hard to figure out what to think of the Honda e Prototype except that it’s gorgeous both inside and out. Now, beauty has a price and we could live with a $35,000 starting price for a 200-kilometer electric vehicle that looks as good as this.

In a perfect world, it would have at least 250 kilometers of range. If the price goes above $40,000, than range needs to top 300 kilometers. If not, looks alone won’t be good enough in a segment where the competition is heating up.


Honda e Prototype Images Gallery

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