Honda e

Opinion: Why I’ve bought a new Honda e

Honda e

Eight months ago, almost to the day, I put down an £800 deposit on a Honda e. I admit it was – and still is – a bit of a punt. No one had driven one, few had actually seen one, and the price was supremely vague: maybe in the sub-£30k region.

Yet thanks to some masterful PR, the world’s media had already become terribly excited about Honda’s first electric car. It was small and oh-so-cute. Despite the obvious expense, Honda had instilled the idea that this was the iPhone of electric vehicles, so price wouldn’t be an issue. It had TV CAMERAS FOR DOOR MIRRORS, for heavens sake! Isn’t that what everyone was gagging for?

For me the purchase seemed low-risk. My deposit was fully refundable, but last September that was returned to me after I paid a ‘proper’ deposit with my local dealer, Norton Way Honda. This £500 is more of a commitment, it seems.

Honda e

Only one of the five colours offered, Charge Yellow, doesn’t incur an additional £550 charge, but yellow is way too lurid for my wife, so we’re going for Platinum Pearl White. There wasn’t much more to choose in September, except 17-inch wheels were included with the launch edition spec if we wanted them. I see now that leather and other packs have been added to the list, but we weren’t offered these. Anyway, cloth seats seem more in keeping with the whole electric car ethos.

Will I still be happy with my somewhat impetuous decision? Will the range be enough? Is the car comfortable? And as the first prototypes were shown to the world some two years ago, does the march of progress mean the Honda e has already been overtaken by the competition?

Honda e

The last point is important. I am buying the top Advance model largely because I’d have to wait longer for the standard car, which seems better value at £26,160. For the price of the Honda e Advance, I could instead buy a Volkswagen ID.3, which looks nice, is roomier and goes further. And that’s just one of many electric cars to come.

But I have bought into whole idea of owning a Honda-e, and I am not having second thoughts. Especially not now I’ve read Richard’s generally very enthusiastic review. He concludes by saying ‘It’s an innovative and authentically unique electric car that, yes, only Honda could make. And, to its core audience and far-sighted early adopters, all the better for it.’

I’ve certainly been an early adopter this time. But I have a feeling I won’t regret that decision when my Honda e arrives this summer. I can’t wait.

2020 Honda e

Honda e review: small and perfectly formed EV… at a price

2020 Honda e

The Honda e is an all-electric concept only Honda could build. Taking a different approach to every other car company has created a model that has desirability by the bucketload, even amongst those it patently isn’t designed for or suited to.

It is small, and decidedly premium-priced (from £26,160, or £28,660 for the Advance grade nine in 10 are currently buying), and the range is half that of the similar-cost and significantly larger Kia e-Niro. But for the trend-setting urbanites it’s aimed for, this is immaterial. They want an electric car that feels a million dollars and delivers an experience that’s unique.

The Honda e is that car.

2020 Honda e

For those who might not find it suitable, Honda has an electrified Jazz coming soon that might do the trick, for thousands less. The Honda e will get them through the doors, though. And, as we discovered, if they do accept a test drive, there may be some interesting head-versus-heart decisions to be made.

First impressions

2020 Honda e

Seeing the Honda e out on the road, with normal cars around it, does not diminish its concept car appearance. It accentuates it. The vividly clean and precisely-cut lines are clarity in a car world of compromise. It is vivid, self-assured, and instantly likeable. People will fall in love with it, like they did with the original Mini.

It is small, shorter than a Ford Fiesta, and the tiny 171-litre boot (less than half the size of a Honda Jazz) just about takes carry-on suitcases, but little more. Adults can get into the rear without getting stuck, but it’s undeniably tight. For those in the front, though, it feels fine, with lots of seat adjustment, plenty of headroom and little sense you’re obviously sat in something so compact.

2020 Honda e

The dashboard is breathtaking. Screens span the full width, just like in the concept. At the outer edges are two high-resolution rear-view cameras, which take the place of door mirrors. At first, it’s hard to stop staring at the video feeds of what’s going on behind you.

Ahead of the driver is a colourful instrument display, packed with information, which will take a bit of getting used to. The stars of the show are the dual 12.3-inch HD displays alongside. So central are these to the Honda e experience, we’re given a tutorial before we set off for the drive.

2020 Honda e

They’re touchscreen, with virtual ‘hard’ shortcut keys on the outer edges of each. They work independently, so the driver can use the sat nav and the passenger can play with something else. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto give smartphone mirroring. A clever trick: the driver can open a screen then ‘swipe’ it over to the passenger side (or swap the displays at the touch of a button).

There are some Easter eggs, too. An aquarium, in which you can choose the number and type of fish. Or you can have various full-width wallpapers instead. The Honda virtual assistant (complete with cute bouncing ‘face’ icon) understands natural language. Honda Parking Pilot is an auto-park system that scans bays and shows a live video feed on the screen: if it can manage to auto-drive into one, the space lights up green – simply tap the space and the e takes over to park it up for you.  

2020 Honda e

More generally, the interior has a lovely ambience, purposefully lounge-like with melange-style seat upholstery more like sofas than cars. The wood-effect panel on the dash is convincing (you can actually feel the grain), the brown seatbelts are neat and it all feels high-quality and premium enough to justify the price tag.

Driving the Honda e

2020 Honda e

Electric cars bleep when you turn them on, rather than whirr. So pulling away (via an auto gear panel that mimics the Honda NSX) is oddly silent and uneventful. It puts you in the right mood for the Honda e experience of futuristic city motoring.

What stands out first is the panoramic visibility. Having no door mirrors is key; it’s like removing blinkers. Steering around the city seems so much easier because you can see much more at a glance – helped by the high-set seats and stubby, well-defined dimensions. Using the rear-view cameras is neat, too – they eliminate blind-spots and are particularly useful when squeezing through tight gaps or avoiding errant Valencia traffic (the digital interior mirror isn’t so crisp or useful – and goes blurry when it rains).

2020 Honda e

The e has a taut in-town ride, with a firm feel, although it doesn’t crash or bang. It also keeps the body roll-free when you’re darting through traffic, which calms down the experience for passengers. The test Advance model had the higher-output 154hp electric motor, for 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds. Punchy and immediate response means you can surge forward into gaps normal cars stumble over.

Steering has a weighty, quality feel and the Honda e is rear-wheel drive, which gives great traction away from the line, and means the steering wheel doesn’t squirm if you give it the full beans. Its party trick is in car parks: the turning circle is incredible, little bigger than the length of the car itself. You can steer from one parking space into the next-but-one, in one go.

2020 Honda e

Out of city limits, the Honda e’s high-end fully independent suspension marks it out as a car with more depth than the city car norm. The ride becomes cushioned and able to soak up nasty surfaces, and it feels very stable as speeds rise. The weight of the batteries settles it on the motorway, making it uncommonly relaxing at speed for such a small car.

Handling is great fun. Commanding steering is quick and precise, turning the car in with agility and confidence. You can go early on the power to deploy the instant, powerful surge and shoot out of corners with perfect rear-led balance. It’s like a little sports car in this respect.

You can drive it as a so-called ‘one-pedal’ car, too. In normal mode, there are four stages of battery-charging regeneration (how much it slows down) when you lift the accelerator, selected via steering wheel paddle shifters. Press a button on the centre console and you get three more, stronger, levels. Mastering it is satisfying and the ‘free’ power it puts into the battery useful.

2020 Honda e

How about battery range? On a cold, rainy day, we started out with a 99 percent full 35.5 kWh battery, showing a 153 km (93 mile) range (some way off the claimed 125 miles). After a 93 km test drive, it said 55 km (34 miles) were left remaining – that’s 37 percent charge. We weren’t hanging about, and the stretch included a blast up the motorway. The media before us were probably driving it like they stole it too, so that average range should increase. It seems, however, that you can trust the Honda e’s initial range calculations.

The Honda e is ready to take fast charging: at the stopover, we plugged it in, and it said 49 minutes to a full charge again. Find a full 50 kW charge point (they’re gradually spreading across the UK) and it will go from fully flat to 80 percent charged in 30 minutes.

And the Honda e is ready to entertain you while you wait. It has an HDMI slot, so you can plug in a Google Chromecast device or, as was demonstrated to us, a Super Nintendo Classic Mini, for brilliantly crisp Mario Kart games. Sat on firm, comfortable heated seats, in such a pleasant interior, it’s a pleasant way to wait for a half-hour fast-charge.

Verdict: Honda e

2020 Honda e

The Honda e is a class act. Probably more premium and luxurious than a BMW i3, it is a futuristic car that doesn’t short-change you on comfort or sophistication. It drives nicely, with a sporty feel that should delight enthusiasts, yet is also compliant and quiet enough for those who want to be wowed by the electric cars of the future.

The two elephants in the room are range and price. Both are unavoidable: it is a compact car precisely because it doesn’t have massive high-range batteries. And it feels so high-end because so much expensive content has gone into it. Those who understand this won’t mind paying a premium. But both factors mean it’s not an everyman EV.  

Rather, it’s an innovative and authentically unique electric car that, yes, only Honda could make. And, to its core audience and far-sighted early adopters, all the better for it.

2020 Honda e: specifications

Price: (including Plug-in Car Grant)

  • Honda e: £26,160
  • Honda e Advance: £28,860

Power: 136hp (Advance: 154 hp)

0-62 mph: 9.0 secs (Advance: 8.3 secs)

Top speed: 90 mph

Range: 137 miles (17-inch wheels: 125 miles)

Boot space: 171 litres (seats down: 861 litres)

Length/width /height: 3,895/1,750/1,752 mm

Weight: 1,514 – 1,542 kg

Honda e in Charge Yellow

Price no barrier for Honda e early adopters

Honda e in Charge Yellow

Prices for the Honda e electric car start from £29,660 – or, with the £3,500 government Plug-in Car Grant factored in, from £26,160.

Early reservation-holders, however, don’t want to pay that: they are eager to pay even more to secure the top-spec Honda e Advance variant, rather than the basic entry-grade car.

Indeed, revealed Honda at the launch event for the new Honda e, 9 in 10 UK orders to date are for the Advance model, which will cost £28,660 once the Plug-in Car Grant is taken off.

Hundreds of buyers, said Honda head of car Phil Webb, have put down an £800 deposit to be the first in line for the new EV, even before they’ve even seen or driven it.

Thousands more have shared their details with Honda to hear more about the e when it arrives in UK retailers this summer.

Honda e model badge

While some have expressed surprise at the price of the Honda e, given its compact size and 136-mile range, early adopters seem not to be worried.

Most are taking the invoice price to over £29,000 by adding on special paint: Webb said the vivid Charge Yellow was proving particularly popular.

Honda e interior

To ease the shock of the price tag, Honda is launching the e with fixed-rate PCP finance offers. The basic Honda e costs £299 a month and the Honda e Advance is £349 a month.

The firm asks for a 23 percent deposit (from just under £6,000) and the deal is over 37 months, at 5.9 percent representative APR.

Finance prices include the Plug-in Car Grant, which Honda assumes the e will qualify for: at the moment, it is awaiting formal confirmation from the government that the car will be included in the scheme.

It anticipates to receive confirmation some time in January 2020.

Audi ‘consolidates‘ car charging with E-Tron Charging Service card

Audi E-Tron Charging Service

Audi has launched a new E-Tron Charging Service for owners of plug-in models. The service will allow drivers to plug and pay at a variety of charging points, using a variety of networks, using one RFID card. This negates the need for multiple subscriptions, apps and accounts. Audi calls it “the convenience of consolidation”.

At present, Audi has 18 UK companies on board. Needless to say, Ionity is involved. It’s joined by Pod Point, Source London, Instavolt and more. A single monthly invoice is generated, based on two fixed tariffs. The Charging Service will charge the user’s account based on their usage without any input.

Audi E-Tron Charging Service

“The general perception of EV charging is that it is confusing and inconvenient, and we want to help to gradually dispel that belief,” said Andrew Doyle, director of Audi UK.

“We started by equipping the E-Tron with the potential for fast charging at up to 150kW, and are now removing another layer of complexity for our EV owners by streamlining the end-to-end process, from charging activation to invoicing, with this new service.”

Charging tariffs – for urban and commuter ownersAudi E-Tron Charging Service

Two tariffs are tailored towards two different kinds of users. The first is the City tariff. Audi says it’s best-suited to plug-in hybrid owners driving short distances. The base rate is £4.95 per month, with customers paying standard rates of 30p per kWh for AC charging, or 39p per kWh for DC fast-charging.

Rates at other points can vary. Using the E-Tron Charging Services card at free charge point, as you’d hope, incurs no charge, but you can still use the card to activate the charge point instead of needing a dedicated account like so many do.

Audi E-Tron Charging Service

Transit tariff – save 60 percent over the standard Ionity rate

The Transit tariff is for more hardcore EV drivers, specifically owners of E-Tron models. £16.95 gets you the fastest charging available across Europe, at a rate of 150kW from Ionity chargers specifically. An E-Tron can be replenished to 80 percent inside 30 minutes, at a rate of 28p per kWh. The savings are significant, with a 60 percent reduction versus what you’d pay as standard with Ionity.

E-Tron owners will also get the Transit tariff for free for the first year. Pricing for the everything else, remains the same as it is on the City tariff.

Audi E-Tron Charging Service

Audi E-Tron Charging Service – how do you do it?

This is the appeal of Audi’s new charging service. Pull up to a participating charge point, tap your card at the point of authorisation and charge away.

No accounts or detail entries required. What’s good for E-Tron owners is that the sat-nav should be able to identify eligible charging points.

Nissan partners with Uber to electrify London fleet

Nissan Leafs for Uber drivers

Nissan has signed a deal for up to 2,000 Leafs to be made available for Uber drivers in London. The move is a big step towards the ride-hailing company’s goal of making its entire London fleet electric from 2025.

The Leafs will be offered to app-using drivers as a part of the company’s ‘Clean Air Plan’, which launched a year ago. Nissan will also give Uber a dedicated EV education programme, a special price and a marketing plan to help accelerate EV uptake. At present, Uber has 45,000 drivers working in London. 

Nissan Leafs for Uber drivers

“Through innovation and collaboration, companies like Nissan and Uber can tackle the challenges of advancing personal urban mobility, whilst also improving air quality in our major cities,” said Andrew Humberstone, managing director of Nissan GB.

“As the UK’s best-selling EV, the Nissan Leaf is the perfect vehicle to support Uber’s ambition of a 100 percent electric fleet in London for 2025.”

The Clean Air Alan is designed to help Uber drivers move to EVs. A clean air fee of 15p per mile is added to all London journeys, which goes towards helping drivers with the cost of adopting one.

Uber London licence 2019

The company raised £80 million in the first year, while a further £200 million or more is expected over the coming years.

The plan is expected to save Uber drivers an average of £4,500 on the cost of switching to an EV. So far, 900,000 Uber journeys have been in EVs, an increase of 350 percent on 2018. On average, 500 drivers a week are using EVs exclusively. 

“Our bold vision for London is for every driver on the Uber app to use an all-electric vehicle by 2025,” said Jamie Heywood, regional manager for Uber in northern and eastern Europe.

Jaguar I-Pace

NHS signs deal for 700 Jaguar I-Pace electric cars

Jaguar I-Pace

NHS public sector staff from more than 200 organisations across the country are set to enjoy access to a fleet of 700 Jaguar I-Pace electric cars.

Described as an ‘unprecedented’ deal, the huge win for Jaguar sees the reigning World Car of the Year become part of the NHS Fleet Solutions scheme.

National Health Service workers will be able to sign up for an I-Pace via a salary sacrifice scheme: the fleet will become available from April 2020.

Sir James Mackey is chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare, the organisation that’s signed the new deal with Jaguar Land Rover.

“We are delighted to be working with Jaguar Land Rover UK,” he said. “This is a great deal for NHS and public sector staff and delivers genuine benefit to our patients.

Jaguar I-Pace

“To have a fleet of cars that are fully electric demonstrates our on-going commitment to making decisions that reduce our impact on the environment and help us become greener.”

The zero-emissions I-Pace will become part of the NHS ambition to reduce its carbon footprint.

Jaguar I-Pace

Claire Watson-Brown from JLR said the company was “very proud to provide NHS and public sector staff with this fleet of Jaguar I-Paces”.

The multi-award-winning SUV “demonstrates our latest electric vehicle technology, developed here in the UK to deliver clean, sustainable and efficient transport”.

Leases on the NHS Fleet Solutions cars will run for three years.

The salary sacrifice scheme has itself run for 15 years and has more than 21,000 cars in public sector employees’ hands.

Daimler deploys electric school buses in America

Daimler electric bus America

Daimler-owned Thomas Built Buses has begun supplying fully-electric versions of the famous black and yellow American school bus. The first 50 examples of the ‘Jouley’ have been ordered in the state of Virginia. 

The goal is to have at least 1,000 electric buses on American roads by 2025, although a bus manufacturer has not yet been selected to fulfill this order.

Daimler electric bus America

The Thomas Built bus has been developed in collaboration with California company, Proterra. Its battery has a total power capacity of 220 kWh – just over twice that of a top-end Tesla Model S – and has a theoretical range of 134 miles. These buses are also the only of their kind to feature DC fast charging as standard.

So how quickly can an electric school bus be charged? If the 60 kW fast charging system is used, it’ll juice up in around three hours. That leaves plenty of time in between the morning drop-off and the afternoon pick-up for buses to be prepared for their second shift of the day.

Interestingly, these buses are also equipped with vehicle-to-grid technology, allowing them to supply power back into the grid. With 1,000 buses in use, their batteries could provide enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes.

Daimler electric bus America

How can you tell the difference between the new electric bus and its diesel predecessor? Well, if it’s running, you’ll clock one even with your eyes closed. There will be no diesel clatter – and no smell of fumes. To look at, the differences are subtle. Pictured above is an older, more traditional American school bus.

There’s blue LED lighting in the grille to mark it out, while ‘Jouley’ is plastered down the side. It still has the silhouette of the familiar American school bus, though, right down to the long nose where you might ordinarily find an engine.

On-street electric car chargepoints

Government doubles funding for on-street electric car chargepoints

On-street electric car chargepoints

Government funding for electric car chargepoints on residential streets will be doubled from 2021 to £10 million a year.

Ministers are also working on plans to allow drivers to access real-time information about whether a chargepoint is in use before they drive to it.

Local councils are being urged to make use of the new funds, which the government says could fund an extra 3,600 public chargepoints.

The plans are part of a drive to help those without an off-street parking space make the switch to electric cars.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We want to make electric cars the new normal, and ensuring drivers have convenient places to charge is key to that.”

Real-time chargepoint info

Sharing information about chargepoint location and power ratings in a standard, open format for the first time will be investigated by the government.

This data would also show whether chargepoints were actually working, in real time, and could be used by developers to build into sat nav systems and route mapping apps.

Future of transport minister George Freeman said: “Supporting the smart use of open data for new apps to help passengers and drivers plan journeys, and to reduce congestion and pollution, is key.

“Comprehensive chargepoint data is crucial for mapping charging hotspots and notspots for consumers, to help to drive forward the electric vehicle revolution.”

This initiative would be a further development of the government’s National Chargepoint Registry (NCR) which launched in 2011. This is an open-source dataset of all public chargepoints.

It follows on from an earlier government challenge to industry to allow debit and credit card payments at all new rapid chargepoints.

The government also wants firms to roll out a roaming solution so electric car drivers could use any public chargepoint via a single app or payment method.

Already, claim ministers, Britain has one of the largest electric car charging networks in Europe. There are 17,000 devices and 24,000 public chargepoints: 2,400 of them are rapid chargepoints.

Revealed: the towns and cities where EV ownership is surging

EV ownership surges

This year is likely to be pivotal for the electric car industry. Recent growth will be accelerated by a growing range of EVs, including some affordable entries at the lower end of the market. But which towns and cities are playing host to EV advocates and early adopters? To find out, submitted a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA. Here, we reveal the number of EVs registered in the first nine months of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018. The results are presented in reverse order, ranked by percentage increase.

20. Stafford – 233.3 percent

EV ownership surges

Our first stop is Stafford, where 13 electric cars were registered in the nine months to September 2018. Fast-forward 12 months and the number over the same period had increased to 43. Stafford isn’t to be confused with Stratford, where the number of EV registrations went down 47.8 percent.

19. Newark – 233.3 percent

EV ownership surges

Heading east from Stafford, we arrive at the Nottinghamshire town of Newark. Here, electric car registrations have increased 233.3 percent, from 12 to 40. Alex Buttle, director, said: “The government is under huge pressure to encourage switching to electric cars and these figures do suggest that car buying habits are changing, although not equally across the UK.”

18. Lewes – 238.5 percent

EV ownership surges

Lewes is the county town of East Sussex and home to a growing number of electric cars. A total of 44 EVs were registered in the nine months to September 2019 – that’s far more than the 13 registered in the same period in 2018. Let’s hope there are enough charging points for everyone.

17. Basildon – 240 percent

EV ownership surges

Basildon was created following the Second World War to house the overspill from London. Today, its residents are doing their bit for lower emissions by buying more electric cars. The number is up from 20 to 68.

16. Swansea – 248.5 percent

EV ownership surges

Swansea appears to be cleaning up its act, with the city witnessing a 248.5 percent increase in the number of electric cars, up from 33 to 115.

15. Bury – 250 percent

EV ownership surges

“Many car owners have expressed a reluctance to switch to electric until they are confident that there is a charging infrastructure in place that will be able to cope with demand,” said Alex Buttle. In Bury, EV ownership has gone up from 26 to 91.

14. Belfast – 251.9 percent

EV ownership surges

Things are even better in Belfast, where EV ownership has increased by 251.9 percent. A total of 95 electric cars is a relatively small figure, but with more EVs coming to market, the number can only increase.

13. Peterborough – 270.9 percent

EV ownership surges

In Peterborough, the percentage increase is only half the story. A total of 664 electric cars were registered in the nine months to September 2019 – the third highest on the list. That’s up from 179 in 2018.

12. Lancaster – 276.9 percent

EV ownership surges

Just 49 electric cars were registered in Lancaster, but that’s a 276.9 percent increase. Using a service like Zap-Map will allow visitors to Lancaster to find local charging points.

11. Sheffield – 278.4 percent

EV ownership surges

“The challenge for the government over the next 12 months is not just to support a car industry that has been through tough times since 2016, but also to find a way to encourage and incentivise more car owners to buy new electric and hybrid cars now,” said Alex Buttle. It looks like the people of Sheffield are ahead of the curve.

10. Bridgend – 280 percent

EV ownership surges

With 38 electric cars registered in the nine months to September 2019, Bridgend has the lowest concentration of EVs in the top 20. Still, you have to start somewhere.

9. Rotherham – 281.8 percent

EV ownership surges

Just 42 electric cars were registered in Rotherham in the 12 months to September 2019 – that’s an increase of 281.8 percent.

8. Tunbridge Wells – 329.4 percent

EV ownership surges

We’d have expected a greater number of affluent towns and cities in the South East to appear on this list. As it happens, Tunbridge Wells is the only south-eastern town to appear in the top 10, with the number of EVs going up from 17 to 73.

7. Leeds – 358.5 percent

EV ownership surges

With 674 EVs registered in the nine months to September 2019, Leeds has the second highest concentration of electric cars in the top 20. We could make a joke about charging Leeds, but we won’t.

6. Solihull – 400 percent

EV ownership surges

Fortunately, we don’t know any Solihull jokes. However, we do know that 255 electric cars were registered in the West Midlands town in the nine months to September 2019 – that’s a 400 percent increase.

5. Chesterfield – 400 percent

EV ownership surges

Chesterfield is famous for its crooked spire, but there’s nothing wonky about these figures. In 2018, just eight EVs were registered in the Derbyshire town. A year later, that number had increased to 40.

4. Portsmouth – 416.2 percent

EV ownership surges

There are contrasting fortunes down in Hampshire. While Eastleigh has seen a 40.7 percent fall in the number of EV registered, down on the coast, the number has gone up by 416.2 percent. Play up, Pompey. Or something.

3. Stirling – 416.7 percent

EV ownership surges

Into the top three, where we find the Scottish city of Stirling. The number of EV registrations has gone up from 24 to 124.

2. Doncaster – 489.1 percent

EV ownership surges

Next up is Doncaster, with the South Yorkshire town playing host to a 489.1 percent surge in the number of EVs. The figure is up from 55 to 324.

1. Birmingham – 527.1 percent

EV ownership surges

Birmingham has seen the fastest growth in new electric car ownership of any town or city in the UK. A total of 2,132 EVs were registered in the nine months to September 2019, making it the UK’s most switched on city.

Hyundai Kona EV altitude record

Electric Hyundai Kona EV achieves altitude world record

Hyundai Kona EV altitude record

The Hyundai Kona EV how has Guinness world record to its name. It achieved the highest altitude ever reached by an electric car, climbing 5,731 metres up the Sawula Pass in Tibet.

Overnight charging using the on-board portable charger kept the batteries topped up, but the Kona’s drivetrain was standard.

The previous EV record was 5,715 metres, set by the NIO ES8 in September 2018. It climbed to the Purog Kangri glacier in Tibet. The Kona hasn’t edged into the lead by much, but it’s a win nonetheless – and a world record.

Hyundai Kona EV altitude record

“A new precedent has been set for the record as – highest altitude reached in an electric car,” said Mr. Rishi Nath, adjudicator for Guinness world records.

“I would like to congratulate Hyundai Motor India for having achieved this and setting new benchmark in the annals of history.”

The climb was a challenge in itself: low temperatures, icy roads and continuous snowfall tested the Kona and its driver as they made their way up the mountain.

However, one advantage EVs have at such altitudes is their lack of dependence on air. As the air thins, the efficiency and power output of an internal combustion engine diminishes.

Hyundai Kona EV altitude record

“Hyundai Kona Electric making it to the prestigious Guinness world records feat is a very proud moment for everyone,” said Mr SS Kim, CEO of Hyundai Motor India.

“Kona Electric has brought electric revolution by demolishing various myths about electric vehicle and is a true expression of Hyundai’s spirit of staying ahead of the curve.”