The zero-emission version of the Honda N-Van doesn’t compromise on practicality
September 28, 2023 at 06:29
Honda revealed the production version of the N-Van e:, which will go on sale in Japan in the spring of 2024. The tiny electric LCV retains the practicality of its ICE-powered sibling while adding the benefits of a silent and zero-emission powertrain.
From the outside, the Honda N-Van e: looks very similar to the standard model, with the exception of the redesigned grille that houses the charging port and is made of recycled bumper plastic. Inside, the climate controls are borrowed from the recently updated N-Box, although the materials used around the cabin retain their utilitarian look. Depending on the trim, equipment can include the Honda Connect system for remote access to select features, the Honda Sensing ADAS suite, and side curtain airbags which is a first for the LCV segment.
The highlight of the EV conversion is that cargo capacity is not compromised, thanks to the thin high-capacity battery pack mounted under the floor and the downsized electric axle. As a result, the cabin floor of the N-Van e: remains flat and low, while the fold-flat seats and the lack of B-pillar on the passenger side provide easier access to the interior. There is also a version with fewer seats for those who prioritize space.
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Honda didn’t announce the specifications of the output of the electric motor but talked about strong acceleration even under heavy load, combined with low levels of noise and vibration. The servo-assisted brakes make it easier to control deceleration so that cargo doesn’t fall over, while the brake discs are larger in size compared to the petrol-powered model.
We don’t know the battery capacity but Honda targets a WLTC range of over 210 km (130 miles) between charges made possible by an ECON driving mode that reduces the consumption of the AC. This is 10 km (6.2 miles) more than the original estimate from last year, and enough to cover the needs of delivery drivers in Japanese cities. A full charge will take around 5 hours from a 6 kW outlet, while thanks to the Honda Power Supply Connector (AC) the battery can power electrical appliances with an output of 1,500W.
Honda will showcase the N Van e: at the Japan Mobility Show 2023 in Tokyo, next to a wide range of products. Pricing is expected to be announced closer to the market launch in spring. Last year Honda mentioned a targeted starting price of ¥1 million ($6,696) for its electric kei van, hoping to pose a real threat to rival offerings from Mitsubishi and Nissan.