Honda’s Fun, New EV Will Start at $15,500—But We Won't Get It

a woman in a white dress dancing next to a man in a tuxedo and a yellow
Honda’s Latest EV Will Start at $15,500Honda
  • Honda's lineup of N-VAN e: battery-electric vans promise a range of 152 miles in the WLTC cycle.

  • The electric vans will be offered with a choice of one to four seats, with most versions designed to cater to commercial customers, but they won't be offered in North America.

  • The base e: G model, aimed at deliveries, will start at the equivalent of $15,500 in Japan, while a four-seat model aimed at private buyers will start north of $18,000.

Since the dawn of the modern EV era, it has been easy to get the impression that vehicle size has only been increasing. Instead of all the small and fun electric cars we were supposed to get in our green and eco-friendly future, we have received a number of unbelievably heavy and expensive SUVs and pickups orbited by a vast cloud of more affordable but anonymous-looking midsize crossovers.


The small EVs that are available today seem like an afterthought.

Honda's latest addition to its electric lineup is destined primarily for Japan, as you have no doubt guessed by now, but it's a revealing window into what the EVs of today are like elsewhere in the world.

Based on an existing gas-engined platform, the pocket-size N-VAN e: lineup will offer a range of 152 miles in the WLTC cycle along with seating for up to four. Honda stuffed the battery underneath the floor, which actually freed up some space inside compared to the gas model, with the roomiest model in the range featuring just one seat.

Boasting a high ceiling and a flat floor, the N-VAN e: will be aimed mostly at commercial users, but will also be offered in a flavor Honda calls e: FUN, catering to leisure activities, like camping and biking with your collie.

a girl and a dog sitting in a tent
One version of the van will be aimed at leisure activities, while others will be aimed at commercial buyers.Honda

In all, Honda will offer four versions of the N-VAN e:, with the base e: G model starting at the equivalent of $15,500 in Japan.

The leisure-aimed e: FUN, meanwhile, will be the range topper at merely $18,600.

Despite its small size, the electric van will will feature a lengthy list of Honda Sensing safety systems, including pedestrian collision mitigation steering, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and even side curtain airbags for the driver and the front passenger.

"The N-VAN e: also will be the first model among all mini-vehicle models in Japan to adopt the Post-Collision Braking System, a technology to mitigate secondary damage in the event of a collision," the automaker notes.

Given its size, the N-VAN will be able to get juiced up in four and a half hours at 6 kW, while a 50-kW charger will accomplish the same in about 30 minutes. The charging system will also be able to power external electric appliances, which means you can bring your kitchen oven on a fishing trip, as long as that fishing trip isn't all that far from home.

Honda hasn't revealed detailed specs of the model range including launch times, but then again these vans aren't really about launch times. Most are expected to be bought by small businesses to be used for deliveries, while the rest should be able to find private buyers pretty easily with their starting prices.

a couple of vans
The N-VAN lineup will try to cater to small businesses and delivery companies.Honda

There's no danger of the N-VANs making it stateside and menacing your town by roaming in a pack, parallel-parking two at a time in a single spot, and scaring off EVs from public chargers with loud novelty horns. The smallest EV that's headed stateside this year is the Fiat 500e, with considerably less cargo space, twice the price, but... about the same range actually.

We harbor few illusions about the chances of any sub-$20,000 EV making it here, unless we're talking electric motorcycles with off-brand sidecars, but the four-seat e: FUN looks like it might actually be fun around town.

Should Honda offer electric models like these in the US and Europe, or are they too small to be practical? Let us know what you think.