At the end of this winter, I had a chance to briefly get acquainted with the Honda e:NS1 electric car, which is now gaining considerable popularity in the Ukrainian market. But why? The answer is due to the combination of electric mobility and low price, which came to us from the Chinese market along with the electric car. In this article, I propose not only to learn more about the Honda e:NS1 model, but also to discuss the situation with Chinese-made electric vehicles in the comments. Even if this is just a short test, it will also be a long and interesting story – as a reflection of what is happening in the Ukrainian automotive and electric car market and even with a look at the European prospects for such an electric car.

Design: Honda e:NS1 electric crossover – what are you?

In short, this is a Honda HR-V of the current generation, but in the form of an electric vehicle and produced in China. That is: we have a compact crossover with a long hood and a short sloping trunk lid, we have hidden door handles, we have a solid panel instead of a traditional grille. Probably the last point is the only thing that instantly and quickly defines the Honda e:NS1 as an electric vehicle.

The electric car Honda e:NS1 combines the crossover format and small dimensions: length – 4.39 meters; width – almost 1.8 meters; height – almost 1.6 meters; wheelbase – 2.61 meters. Interesting details attract attention: black glossy wheel arches, hidden door handles, a continuous line of the lantern. There is also a hinged panel with GB/T charging ports, typical for electric vehicles from the Chinese market.

The interior of the Honda e:NS1 electric vehicle is also familiar to fans of the Honda HR-V model: the general shape of the front panel and seats, individually adjustable ventilation deflectors, a black gloss console with P-R-N-D buttons, background lighting in the doors and pockets in the back. Everything looks familiar…

However, the interior is familiar – but not identical. The main difference is the vertically mounted 15.1-inch display that takes center stage in the cabin. It is divided into several segments and is responsible for “everything-everything-everything”: the audio system and various settings, the rearview camera, and climate control. I would also like to note the 10.25-inch digital instrument panel display, which now lacks a sun visor.

The interior of the Honda e:NS1 does not impress with design or exclusive materials, but everything is put together very, very well, sufficient ranges of seat adjustments, well-designed ergonomics – controls in the expected places, good visibility around. Feature of the electric car Honda e:NS1 in front – a large vertical display; feature behind – the absence of folding seats Magic Seats: all because of the battery in the floor. Regarding the trunk of the Honda e electric car:NS1: I found information about its volume at 361 liters, although 304 liters are declared for the Honda HR-V car; a larger volume is possible, taking into account the organizer niche under the trunk floor.

Technology: one electric car – different versions

So, let’s move on to the technical component. It is quite typical: the body of the Honda HR-V model was taken as a basis, an electric motor was installed instead of a gasoline/hybrid engine; instead of a fuel tank, a battery was installed in the lower part of the body. The Honda e:NS1 electric car has only one electric motor and front-wheel drive, and uses an independent suspension in the front and a semi-dependent one in the rear.

That was general information, and now the details begin. First of all, the Honda e:NS1 electric car is available in two versions, which differ significantly in terms of battery and electric motor. The entry-level version is an electric motor with a capacity of 134 kW or 182 hp (TZ190HSBMCF61), as well as a 53.6 kWh battery with a standard range of up to 420 km according to the Chinese CLTC measurement cycle. The older variant is an electric motor with an output of 150 kW or 204 hp (TZ190HSAMCF61) and a 68.8 kWh battery, which should be enough for a range of up to 510 km according to the Chinese CLTC measurement cycle.

In addition to the two versions in terms of technology, there are also two versions that differ in terms of production. After all, the electric car is produced at two joint Chinese factories of Honda, created together with local Chinese companies. Why is this so? Because the Chinese market is quite closed – you can enter it only if you create a joint venture with local companies. It is clear why this is done: to gain some access to the manufacturer’s technologies. Then there is the high popularity of electric vehicles: due to the poor environment in large cities, the Chinese government began to stimulate the electric vehicle market using various methods, and manufacturers quickly responded.

And so we got the result in the form of numerous electric vehicles originating from Chinese factories. By the way, it is “factories,” even in this particular case. Firstly, there is a joint plant of Honda and DongFeng, in which case the electric car is called Honda e:NS1; secondly, there is a joint plant of Honda and GAC, in which case a similar electric car is called Honda e:NP1.

Let’s count: one electric car, two versions, two manufacturing plants, two model names. Oh, wait: even three names! After all, this is the same electric car that is also presented in Europe, but under the name Honda e:NY1 and with the maximum technical component: a 150 kW electric motor and a 68.8 kWh battery, which should provide a range of up to 412 km according to a more realistic WLTP measurement cycle. It turns out interestingly, just pay attention to the difference in the promised range – 20-25% should be subtracted from the Chinese figures, and even then these will still be very optimistic numbers…


Modern Honda electric vehicles are built on the so-called “e:N architecture”; in fact, these are several different platforms that differ in the number and location of the electric motor, as well as the suspension scheme. The Honda e:NS1 electric car uses a fairly common variant: front-mounted electric motor and front-wheel drive, independent suspension in front and semi-dependent rear. In fact, the Honda e:NS1 electric car from the Chinese factory is a harbinger of the Honda e:NY1 model intended for the European market.

By the way, the Honda e:NY1 crossover reveals several interesting technical characteristics. For example, not only the power of the electric motor at 150 kW or 204 hp, but also its torque at 310 Nm; moreover, 2788 Nm comes to the wheels – this is how you can calculate the gear ratio (i=9), which corresponds to an increase in torque. Also, the European version of the Honda e:NY1 is claimed to accelerate to “hundreds” in 7.6 seconds and a maximum of 160 km/h, although only 150 km/h of top speed is promised for Chinese electric vehicles.

Behind the wheel: pleasant and understandable character

Here again I will mention the Honda HR-V crossover and compare it with the Honda e:NS1 electric car in terms of suspension and chassis behavior. Normal driving comfort, slight body roll, lightness of the steering wheel and overall handling. The Honda e:NS1 electric car left an impression of quick understanding: I got in and drove right away.

Unfortunately, the weather did not allow us to measure the dynamics, but according to my impressions, there is enough power and traction for active city starts from traffic lights, acceleration to speeds of 50-60-70 km/h, or overtaking on the highway at speeds of about a hundred. Especially if you add the linearity of electric motor traction characteristic of all electric vehicles – you press the accelerator pedal and immediately get a response. You can also add a regeneration-deceleration setting by “clicking” the steering wheel paddles, and several driving modes: sport mode makes the electric motor’s reactions sharper, while ECON mode, on the contrary, “holds” the engine and reduces the dynamics.

The electric car that became the hero of this article was presented in the starter version: 134 kW of power and 53.6 kWh of battery capacity. The motor is surprising not so much for its power and dynamics as for its design under the hood: everything is covered with a plastic cover, and there are only a few holes for access to the air conditioning and coolant pipes. Changing driving modes somewhat affects the reaction of the electric motor, but does not affect the recalculation of the range: at 94% battery charge, the meter promised 375 km – confidently hinting at 400 km with a full battery charge. But take into account the difference between the CLTC and WLTP measurement cycles – I would advise you to count on a maximum of 300 km of run.

Cost: how much does the Honda e:NS1 electric car cost?

Think about the versions with different electric motors and batteries described above, and add a few differences in the equipment and delivery terms of a particular electric car – it will be cheaper to order, and the ones already available in Ukraine are usually sold at a higher price. That’s how you get the price range: eHonda e:NS1 costs from $20-23 thousand for the version with 182 hp and 53.6 kWh – and up to a maximum of $25-27 thousand for the version with 204 hp and 68.8 kWh.

In any case, you can count on a good list of equipment: 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, climate control, a vertical 15-inch display, a digital instrument cluster, a rearview camera, and contour background lighting. The maximum trim levels offer a panoramic roof, electric driver’s seat adjustment, leather upholstery with contrasting inserts, larger 18-inch wheels, etc.

Even the starting version has a 182 hp electric motor and a large battery, alloy wheels and LED headlights, a digital instrument panel and a large central display, a rearview camera, and interior background lighting. And all this for $20-23 thousand; and with the possibility of paying extra, you can get even more power, battery, and equipment.

Moreover, the Honda e:NS1 electric car, even in the maximum configuration, will be 1.5 times cheaper than the European version. For example, in the German market, the Honda e:NY1 electric car only starts at a price of 39 thousand euros or $42.5 thousand.

Honda e:NS1 test drive results

In fact, the last paragraph is the key in the history of the Ukrainian popularity of electric vehicles from the Chinese market. Especially when it comes to electric vehicles from well-known global brands and well-known models. And there are a lot of them today: Volkswagen ID.4 (we can also mention ID.3 and ID.6), Audi Q4 e-tron, Toyota bZ4X, Honda M-NV. Now the Honda e:NS1 electric car is being actively added to this list, which has grown in popularity recently. And now it’s clear why.

Test drive of the Honda e:NS1 electric car – Japanese brand, Chinese production, European prospects?

Electric car was provided by NEXT CAR