Is a Honda e useless at long journeys?
Let’s talk about long-ish-journeys, the kind that with its pitiful 125-mile range I didn’t think the Honda e would be capable of. Three months in though and my confidence is growing… and the Honda’s horizons broadening. Our relationship started with little jaunts around London, learning to trust that the range readout wouldn’t fall off a cliff if you drive semi-enthusiastically, y’know, like a normal car. It doesn’t. In fact, the reliability of its readout is one of the things I like most. It’s important stuff: when it says you’ve got nine miles in the tank and home is seven miles away, it’s nice to know you’re going to make it without having an aneurism.
First big test was a return trip from home (Streatham, South London) to Dunsfold: 36 miles (and an hour and 20 mins in the saddle) each way, with no charger to use when we got there and a good chunk of the A3 to negotiate. Strictly 70mph on the fast bits, some fun on the bendier stretches past Guilford, and I made it with 20 per cent to spare. Easy. Level complete.
Next, something a bit higher stakes. From home to Junction Eleven Studios in Banbury – 82 miles each way, most of that on the M40. A quick Zap Map revealed an eight-strong 125kW Instavolt station (one day all chargers will be this good) just a short walk from the studio. Charge while I work, turn around and come home. Bit squeakier, foot set to max eco both ways… but I made it. Another feather in the Honda’s cap, another steroid shot to my confidence.
And so to the big boss… visiting my brother on the other side of London for the weekend. Not about distance this one, but a game of fitting in two adults, two kids and all our stuff for a delightful weekend in Walthamstow. And to our surprise, it swallowed the lot. The boot is clearly tiny, but remove the rear parcel shelf and you can stack it to the roof and block the rear window with gay abandon, safe in the knowledge that you can switch the rear view mirror to camera mode and still enjoy a perfect view out the back.
Meanwhile, no transmission tunnel means you can stuff a bag under the dash between driver and passenger, without eating into any legroom, and with both kids up in their booster seats you can fill the full width of the rear footwell to the gunwales. OK, we couldn’t bring large items like the buggy, or the grandparents, but anything that forces my wife to pack a little lighter is a win for me. Could the Honda e become a permanent member of our family? If it keeps exceeding expectations like this… it’s got a chance.