Time to wait in the preorder line.
Little did the rest of the auto industry know that Tesla was on to something when it first expanded from producing the Lotus-based Roadster to offering the Model S and Model X. And this isn’t about Tesla revealing that there was pent-up demand for electric cars, it's about how the company learned that offering reservations for its vehicles is a clever way to engage customers with a car that has yet to be built.
It’s a move the rest of the auto industry has taken up as it struggles to release electric cars in a timely manner, with Volkswagen, Audi, and even BMW opening up reservations for the ID.3, e-tron, and X3i, respectively before having finished products at the dealership. And now it’s Honda’s turn because the Japanese automaker has just announced that it is opening the reservation books for its upcoming urban electric car, the Honda e.
We first caught a glimpse of the Honda e when it came to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show as the Honda E Prototype Urban EV to reassert the brand’s commitment to making 100% of its European sales electric by 2025. It was a curious little electric car that showcased Honda’s new compact EV platform, and it looked production-ready despite only being a prototype. As it turns out, it pretty much was because if you’re a buyer in the UK, Germany, France, or Norway, you can now plunk down about £800 (around $1,016 at today’s rates) to be one of the first people to own the Honda e.
The refundable deposit gives customers the chance to be the first to spec out their Honda es when order books open later this year before deliveries take place in the Spring of 2020. Currently, the only option buyers can choose is the color, with the Honda e being offered in Crystal Black Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, Charge Yellow, Platinum White Metallic, and Crystal Blue Metallic.
If you’re wondering why the Honda e won’t make it to America, then it’s best to look at the main culprit: range. Despite being able to charge its battery to 80% in only 30 minutes, the fact the Honda e can only travel 125 miles on a full charge means that most American buyers won’t even look its way. It’s a shame though because the Honda e powers its rear wheels to maintain a dynamic driving experience and gives us a good idea of what the company can do when it strays from its traditional recipe.
What’s worth paying attention to is how the Honda e clues us into the automaker’s plans for the future. The little EV features small innovations like A-pillars that sit flush with the glass to reduce wind noise and resistance, as well as a lounge-style interior with a dual touch-screen infotainment system sure to give both drivers and passengers all the info and entertainment they need for their short trips.