Thought the Honda E was ruled out for Australia? Not so fast.
As part of its shift from a traditional dealer sales model to an agency model, Honda Australia could start importing more cars from Japan, rather than almost exclusively sourcing them from its factory in Thailand.
That opens to door for the cute, city-sized Honda E electric hatchback to make its way to Australia.
“I think [agency sales] opens up opportunities where – whether it be the electric, or whether it be other brand-building cars – I think it allows us to have scope to consider those,” said Honda Australia managing director, Stephen Collins.
“Ultimately they all need business cases, but I think that it certainly opens up some more opportunities in that area.”
The only Hondas not sourced from Thailand in Australia are the Civic Type R hot hatch, which is instead built in the United Kingdom, and the Japan-built Odyssey.
Honda Australia has previously said it wants the E hatchback, and hasn’t ruled out bringing it Down Under.
But sourcing the car from Japan and building a business case under Honda’s old dealer sales model hasn’t yet opened the door for the Mini Electric rival to make the trip to Australia.
Mr Collins has previously told media Honda Australia “definitely” wants the E.
“The world’s changing,” Mr Collins said in 2019. “Honda in Europe plans to have 100 per cent of its line-up electrified by 2025.”
“There’s clearly regulatory change which is driving that in some markets (but) eventually our view is that will happen here,” Mr Collins said.
“There is greater (customer) acceptance, we are seeing signs of growth and we think that’s going to continue.”
Power in the Honda E comes from a rear-mounted motor with either 100kW or 113kW of power, along with 315Nm of torque.
The battery pack is a 35.5kWh lithium-ion unit good for a claimed 220km of range.
The E would be a natural fit as a halo car for Honda’s range, given it plans to sell hybrid versions of every all-new model introduced in Australia going forward.
When they will arrive hasn’t yet been confirmed.