Honda E electric car dropped after four years amid high price, slow sales

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The cute Honda E electric car has been deleted from the showroom line-up in Europe and Japan due to slow sales, amid a high price and limited 200km driving range.

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The retro-styled Honda E electric hatchback sold overseas has been axed after less than four years in showrooms – with no plans for a successor amid the boom in SUV popularity – due to slow sales.

The Honda E was introduced in 2020 to capitalise on a growing market for electric city cars in Europe and Japan, and was planned to lead the Japanese car giant’s roll-out of electric cars – though it was not sold officially in Australia.

However it was priced from nearly €35,000 – or $AU60,000 at current exchange rates – with a claimed driving range of 200km to 220km, from a compact 35.5kWh battery pack.

The final versions available in Europe were top-of-the-range models, priced from close to €40,000 – similar to a Tesla Model 3, which is a much larger car with two-and-a-half times more driving range.

However in its first two full years on sale – 2021 and 2022 – Honda reportedly sold about 5500 E hatchbacks in Europe, or half its annual target of 10,000 deliveries.

Orders for the vehicle have closed in Europe and the UK, while a notice on Honda Japan’s website advises “production of the Honda e will end in January 2024,” and that “Honda e will be discontinued once the production run is sold out.”

A Honda Europe spokesperson told industry journal Automotive News Europe the Honda E “brought many new customers to the brand with its distinctive design, advanced technology and driving dynamics.”

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Since introducing the Honda E, the Japanese car giant has added the e:Ny1 electric SUV to its line-up in Europe, based on the Honda HR-V.

With the exception of the Civic Type R hot hatch, Honda Europe has – since 2022 – exclusively sold hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric cars.

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Company executives have confirmed there are no plans for a second-generation Honda E – or another similarly-sized electric vehicle – due to the growth in popularity of SUVs.

“There won’t be more cars the size of the Honda E. I can say that confidently,” Rebecca Adamson, boss of Honda UK’s cars division, told British publication Autocar earlier this year.

“The market demand in the UK is the SUV sector, so that’s why the focus is there. It’s a market-led product line-up. As long as that’s where the market is, we will continue to be SUV driven.”

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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