Japanese automaker Honda has announced its first electric vehicle (EV) developed in China, the e:NS1, is now on sale in the country.
The SUV is essentially an electric version of the Honda HR-V and can travel up to 510km (310 miles) on a full charge based on the CLTC rating schedule, which provides higher estimates than the North American EPA ratings.
The interior features a vertical 15.2″ infotainment screen with e:N software that integrates Honda’s Sensing 360 and Connect 3.0 operating systems. There is also a smaller 10.25″ digital instrument cluster.
The e:NS1 is targeted at local consumers and Honda hopes to be able to sell about 3,000 units per month. The EV will be built by Dongfeng Honda, a joint-venture between Dongfeng Motor Group and Honda Motor Company.
Honda’s next EV, the e:NP1 is also set to launch next month. It will be built by Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd (GAC Honda), a joint venture between GAC and Honda.
“It is our great pleasure to start offering the all-new e:NS1 and e:NP1, the first set of Honda e:N Series, for our customers in China. Even in the EV era, creating truly unique cars is what Honda believes in. There are already many choices of EV models available to customers in China, however, our e:N Series models will be the ones to redefine the fun of EVs by offering unique value derived from the ultimate dimension of comfort and fun,” said Katsushi Inoue, Honda’s top man in China.
Along with the two new EVs, Honda is also launching direct online sales in China. The automaker says it will “guide customers into the world of the e:N design concept of ‘perceiving the future at a glance and by touch’ and offer customers a completely new purchasing experience.”
The traditional dealership model is not being abandoned however, as existing showrooms will be updated to specialize in electrified vehicles. They also plan to set up new showrooms in malls in several major Chinese cities.