Honda has been exclusively selling the Everus VE-1 (based on the Honda HR-V crossover) in China through its joint venture with GAC Automotive and the car is receiving an updated battery with extended range in 2020. This move comes weeks after Toyota introduced its first electric car, the C-HR Electric, in the Chinese market through both the joint ventures.
The Everus VE-1 is powered by a 53.6 kWh battery that earlier offered a range of 340 km in a single charge (improved to 401 km in the first update) and now the company has improved the energy density of the battery to take the range up to 470 km (NEDC), as per reports from the Chinese media. The car is driven by a 120 kW electric motor that makes a peak torque of 280 Nm, giving it a top speed of 120 km/h. According to reports, the VE-1 now has an average power consumption of 14 kWh per 100 km.
The VE-1 measures 4,308 mm in length, 1,824 mm in width, 1,625 mm in length, a wheelbase of 2,610 mm and weighs 2,110 kg. When it was announced in late 2018, the VE-1 was one of the most affordable electric vehicles with a long range, priced from 159,800 yuan after subsidies.
Honda is expected to release the updated VE-1 in the coming weeks and in the top-end ‘Sport’ version the car comes with a two-tone body, red decorative strips above the headlights, new multi-spoke sports wheels, new rear fog lights and rear bumper and ‘Sport’ badges.
The VE-1 is a China-only product and the world has to wait for the release of the new Honda e hatchback to experience electric cars from the ‘H’ brand. Honda will begin sales of its compact retro-modern electric car, Honda e, in Europe in 2020. Powered by a 35.5 kWh battery with a range of 222 km (WLTP), it competes against the likes of the Mini Cooper SE, Renault Zoe, VW ID.3 and Fiat’s new 500e. Honda e will be offered in two outputs – 100 kW (136 PS) and 113 kW (154 PS) and both the variants will have a peak torque of 315 Nm. With the 113 kW version, the e can go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8 seconds.
Honda has also confirmed that it is developing two electric vehicles on GM’s platform which will come out in 2023 for the USA market.