It seems a slightly strange notion, given how different the design philosophies of these two great companies have appeared to be over the years but, in launching its first really serious battery-electric vehicle, Honda has supposedly followed the example set by the world’s best-known smartphone manufacturer.
According to Honda, the similarities between the new E city car and Apple’s iPhone should be readily apparent. You can be the judge of the veracity of that statement but, says Honda, both products put eye-catching design and seamless functionality in pride of place, and both do so in return for a healthy price premium.
With a ground-up new design and an all-new platform, the E will spearhead Honda’s electrification strategy. And yet it’s leading that particular charge from what looks to be, in one key respect at least, a questionable position. Where many affordable mainstream EVs are now appearing with more than 200 miles of WLTP-certified range, the dinky E arrives with a comparatively meagre 136 miles of range at most.
However, Honda is confident it has taken the right approach with this car, even if it has to justify its strategy by strictly defining both who the E is aimed at and how it should be used. According to the messaging, then, the E will be bought by individuals who appreciate its design and compactness to such an extent that they’re happy to pay a little more for a car they won’t be able to travel quite as far in.
Model tested: E Advance
Price: £29,160 after gov’t grant
Price as tested: £29,710 after gov’t grant
Electric motor/s: AC synchronous, fixed magnet electric motor
Drive battery: 35.5kWh
£29,160 after gov’t grant
Price as tested
£29,710 after gov’t grant
View all specs and rivals
AC synchronous, fixed magnet electric motor
Has such a specialised brief ultimately made Honda’s maiden electric effort a better next-generation city car, or a worse one? Stand by to find out.