Honda electrifies micro van for clean and quiet inner-city hauling
Honda has announced a 210-km electrified version of its cute-but-capable gas-powered N-Van, as part of the company's mission to sell only electric vehicles in Japan by 2030.
The quiet-running light commercial electric N-Van is ideally suited to small-scale stop-and-go inner-city deliveries, particularly in the early hours or after folks have gone to bed, and has been tuned to match acceleration performance of the existing gas-powered N-Van turbo model.
Driver-assist technologies such as traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping function, adaptive cruise control and parking sensors are included as part of the Honda Sensing suite, and it's said to be the first in its class to feature side airbags for driver and passenger as standard. Honda designers have also increased the size of the brake disc rotors for improved control during hill descents.
The exterior incorporates materials recycled from the bumpers of old Honda vehicles, while a flat and low floor with a slim battery mounted underneath combined with a high ceiling makes for "a spacious and high-capacity cargo compartment" inside.
The rear space is 1.48 m (4.85 ft) in length with the rear bench folded down, is 1.39 m (4.56 ft) wide and 1.36 m (4.48 ft) high – but the passenger and rear seating can be folded flush with the floor to accommodate longer items. The center pillar on the passenger side has been left out to allow for cargo loading via the passenger door and sliding side door. All in, the N-Van e: can haul up to 300 kg (660 lb).
Honda is aiming for a per-charge WLTC cruising range of 210 km (130 miles), and has positioned the charging port to the front for ease of use. The electric micro van is reported compatible with 6-kW chargers for a full top-up in around 5 hours, and an external power port has been included so that its juice can be used to power tools and appliances, or used as a vehicle-to-home power source in emergencies.
The N-Van e: prototype has been in testing since June, and the company plans to put it through its paces outside of Japan to confirm performance specs ahead of launch. Should all go to plan, availability in Japan is being penciled in for the local spring of 2024, and it will come in three configurations – including a workhorse that's had all-but the driver seating removed. Sadly, as with the gas-powered N-Van, the electrified model is unlikely to be seen on US roads.
Source: Honda Japan